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Bill Pending to Update Maryland Child Support Guidelines

The Maryland Legislature is currently considering legislation that would update the Maryland Child Support Guidelines. The legislation has passed in the Senate, but has not yet passed in the House. Many proponents of the legislation feel it is long overdue as the Maryland Child Support Guidelines have not been updated in over 20 years, since 1988 when Maryland first implemented the guidelines to comply with the federal government’s recommendation. At that time, the government also recommended that the guidelines be revisited very four years which has not been done in Maryland. The Maryland guidelines calculate the payment by using a pre-established figure to represent the expenses in the household that covers the child or children and then dividing this figure based upon the parties’ respective income percentages, see Maryland Annotated Code, Family Law 12-204 . Currently the guidelines are calculated based on the proportion of expenses for children based on expenses and the cost of living in 1988. These expenses have not increased in perfect proportion to parents incomes over the years, which is one of many reasons why proponents seek to have these guidelines re-evaluated. Additionally, the guidelines do not calculate for those with combined household incomes over $10,000 a month, which encompasses many more households than it did in 1988. The new legislation would change the guidelines to include higher income situations up to $30,000 a month.

For more information on child support, contact Monica Scherer, Esq. at 410-625-4740.

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