In the state of Maryland, when determining child support payments, the ‘Income Shares Model’ is followed. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount spent by the parents on their children when they were all living in the same household, then divides the amount between both parents based on their income in order to ensure the children still receive roughly the same amount of financial support that they did when their parents were still married. The income shares model takes into account both parents’ incomes, the number of children they share, if any alimony is being paid or received and any extraordinary medical expenses required by the children.
In the state of Maryland, juvenile maintenance services are handled by the juvenile Support Enforcement Administration, the CSEA can provide many services including establishing paternity legally, locating the other parent of the juvenile, establishing a court order for juvenile maintenance.
Juvenile support amounts may be agreed upon by the parents without the involvement of a judge and may be considered a part of the marriage separation agreement and may be incorporated into the divorce judgment.
A juvenile maintenance order in Maryland specifies the amount that the custodial guardian is demanding the non-custodial guardian to pay. Moreover, the court retains jurisdiction to change the order if circumstances substantially change in the future, and either guardian may file for a modification of the amounts being paid.
Furthermore, juvenile maintenance orders may demand additional things as opposed to just direct payments, these include for the non custodial guardian to maintain their children as beneficiaries to their health and life insurances, the non custodial guardian to pay for one half of all uninsured medical or dental services of the juvenile, the non custodial guardian to pay for travelling fees of the juvenile when travelling to see either parent given that if these visits exceed two weeks, the amount of juvenile maintenance will be reduced by $50.
In cases where the non-custodial parent is refusing to pay juvenile maintenance, the court may enforce the juvenile maintenance order through means such as wage garnishments, wage assignments and the seizure of the parent’s property by writ of execution.
Moreover, when deciding child support amounts, the court will also take into account other responsibilities of the parent. These responsibilities include child support payments from previous marriages and necessary expenses such as rent, food, and clothing. However, the court may not modify a child support order to allow for the parent to pay for discretionary obligations such as buying a car.
Generally, child support payments are made until the minor reaches the age of 18, however, payments will still continue if the child has reached the age of 18 while still being enrolled in high school, or if the parents reached an agreement for them to continue after the child has turned 18.
In the state of Maryland, the judge is not tied by the income shares model and may order the child support payment to increase if seen to be in the child’s best interest, moreover, there is no maximum limit to the amount that the court may order.