Nancy Caplan, Attorney Mediator
Attorney Nancy Caplan


Child Support in Maryland, is governed by the Maryland Child Support Guidelines law (“the Guidelines”).  Read the Law: Maryland Child Support law is found in  Md. Code, Fam. Law Title 12

In Maryland, both parents are legally obligated to support their children.   The Guidelines apply where the parents were married, divorced or separated, or never married.  Child Support is not taxable to the parent receiving the support and is not tax deductible to the paying parent.

In general, both parties must provide their children with direct support (i.e. food, clothing, shelter and medical care) when a child or the children are in each parent’s home.   The Guidelines formula for calculating child support is based on the proportions of each parent's gross income. Where the parties earn a combined gross, monthly income of $15,000.00 or less, the Guidelines are presumed to apply unless a party can prove the resulting calculations are unjust and inappropriate. For couples earning a combined monthly income of more than $15,000.00, a court has authority to determine the precise award.  Often the Guidelines are simply extrapolated to reflect the higher incomes.

The party seeking child support from the Court must file a petition/complaint.  Child Support may be ordered by a court only retroactive to the date of the filing.  In general the parties cannot agree to “waive” child support.  It is a right belonging to the children. When will the guidelines calculate zero child support?  An example would be where the parties had equal custodial overnights + equal income + equal sharing of major child expenses (i.e. child care costs, medical costs, transportation costs, private school).  Except where the higher earner has sole physical custody, the higher earner will be calculated to owe some sum of child support to the lower earner. 

Some factors utilized to calculate Child Support are:


Child Support may be adjusted over the lifetime of the Child.  After Child Support is ordered in Maryland, the Court has authority to change the award (the court “retains jurisdiction”) based on substantial changes to the parties’ incomes or the Child’s expenses, or changes in custody arrangements. 

A person can be jailed if he or she does not pay ordered Child Support and/or wages can be garnished.  Any parent can force the non-supporting parent to pay the required Child Support.  Free services are available with The Maryland Department of Human Resources, Maryland Child Support Enforcement Program:

311 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD 21201



In conclusion, payment of child support in Maryland is easy to calculate, difficult to impossible to avoid, and a legal and moral obligation of a parent to his or her Child, regardless of the marital status of the parents.  As such, determining Child Support with the assistance of a Mediator at settlement table is often the least stressful approach.  Let Attorney and Mediator, Nancy Caplan, Esquire affordably guide your family to a fair and practical result to you Child Support issues in Maryland.



Serving the following Maryland Counties and Cities: BALTIMORE COUNTY - Catonsville, Towson, Lutherville, Timonium, Cockeysville, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Glyndon, Sparks, Hunt Valley, Monkton, Glencoe, Randallstown, New Town, Perry Hall, Parkville, Rosedale, Dundalk, Essex, Middle River, Edgemere, White Marsh; ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY - Annapolis, Crownsville, Crofton, Millersville, Severna Park, Glen Burnie, Bowie, Odenton; HOWARD COUNTY - Columbia, Sykesville, Ellicott City, West Friendship; HARFORD COUNTY - Bel Air, Joppatown, Aberdeen; CARROLL COUNTY - Westminster, Taneytown, Finksburg; BALTIMORE CITY, MARYLAND.
This site offers legal information, not legal advice. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options. However this is not “legal advice.” “Legal Advice” can be defined as the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you must consult an attorney / lawyer.