# What Is the Maximum Amount of Child Support in Maryland?

By Wayne Thomas

A divorce does not end a parent's duty to financially support his children. In Maryland, child support is calculated according to a set formula contained in state law and based on the parents' incomes. Because a child's needs take precedence over the interests of the parents, a judge is not necessarily bound by a support calculation and may order a higher payment if he deems it necessary to cover expenses related to the care of the child. There is no statutory maximum limit to the amount of support the court can order.

A divorce does not end a parent's duty to financially support his children. In Maryland, child support is calculated according to a set formula contained in state law and based on the parents' incomes. Because a child's needs take precedence over the interests of the parents, a judge is not necessarily bound by a support calculation and may order a higher payment if he deems it necessary to cover expenses related to the care of the child. There is no statutory maximum limit to the amount of support the court can order.

## Overview of Child Support

In calculating child support, Maryland utilizes what is known as an income shares model. This model is based on the rationale that a child should have the same proportion of financial support from each parent after divorce that she received while the parents were married. The baseline dollar amount of support required to meet the child's needs at each income level is set by the state and presented in the form of a guideline.

## Establishing the Support Amount

The first step in calculating child support in Maryland is to combine the net incomes of both parents to produce a total household income. This amount corresponds to a total support obligation on a worksheet provided by the state. The parent ordered to pay support is required to pay the portion of the obligation that is in the same proportion of his income to the total household income. For example, if you contribute \$6,000 to a combined monthly household net income of \$9,000, you would then be responsible for two-thirds of the entire support obligation.