Maryland has a new child support law, which went into effect on October 1, 2010. The new Maryland Child Support Law will make collection of child support by the receiving party more efficient and effective.
New Requirements of Maryland Child Support Law
The last revision was 22 years ago. Here are some important revisions in the new law:
- The new Maryland child support law applies to child support orders entered after Oct. 1, 2010.
- The schedule of basic child support obligations will be adjusted upward to account for increases in the cost of living and inflation.
- The schedule of basic child support obligations will be expanded to include parents with combined adjusted actual incomes of up to $15,000 per month (or $180,000 per year). This is a considerable increase from the current guidelines, which are only used when the parents have a combined adjusted actual income of up to $10,000 per month (or $120,000 per year).
- The new Maryland child support law presumes that the guidelines provide the correct amount of child support to be awarded. That presumption may be rebutted with evidence demonstrating that the application of the guidelines in a particular case would be unjust or inappropriate.
Modification of Child Support
In order to change a child support order, a party still has to show a “material change in circumstances.” That “material change” must be relevant to the level of support a child is actually receiving, and of sufficient magnitude to justify judicial modification of the support order. Examples of a “material change in circumstances” may include, but are not limited to:
- a significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income, usually at least a 35% change in income;
- a significant increase in the child(ren)’s expenses, which relate to their financial, medical, psychological or educational needs; or
- a significant change in the number of overnights per year that the child(ren) spend with each parent. If, after October 1, 2010, the court finds that modification is appropriate, then the modified order will be governed by the new guidelines.