Tag Archive for: child support guidelines

by Michael F. Callahan

You need solid information upon which to base a claim for modification of child support.  So when we represent payees we generally include a requirement to exchange tax returns or annual income documents like W-2’s and 1099’s annually or bi-annually.

If you are being paid child support, and don’t know whether the payer’s income has increased, it’s sometimes risky to proceed on mere suspicion rather than solid information.

And if  your income has decreased that may not help because the child support payee’s income does not change support amount much at most income levels under the guidelines adopted in 2010 by Maryland.

If, on the other hand, you are paying child support, and the payee’s income increases, and therefore you think the payee does not “need” all of the originally ordered support, you may not be successful in reducing child support under the revised guidelines.

A Maryland bill to revise the state’s twenty year old Child Support Guidelines has passed in the  Senate by a vote of 43-2, and is up for a vote today in the House Legislative Subcommittee.   A similar bill died in committee last year.

The new guidelines would go up to a combined gross income of $30,000 a month instead of the current level of $10,000 a month.  They would also increase child support payments from the non-custodial parent.

Some lawmakers are asking, however, whether it is a good time to increase child support payments in the middle of a recession.  Since Maryland uses a shared income model, proponents note that the custodial parent is already paying increased costs and the new guidelines would only cause them to be shared more fairly.  The new guidelines would apply to new cases and cases where parents ask the court for a modification.