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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses The Child Support Guidelines

Written by Amar Weisman » November 30, 2015 »

Many Baltimore & Middle River parents who have decided to go their separate ways are often faced with a battle related to child support. There are a number of factors taken into consideration prior to the court ordering a parent to pay a certain amount of child support. But is there ever a point at which a parent could be made to pay too much child support?

One of the common things that is shared among people in celebrity and non-celebrity status is the requirement to pay court-ordered child support if they have children with someone from whom they’ve divorced or left for whatever reason. Several media outlets recently ran a story highlighting a case involving Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder, whose divorce from Kai Millard Morris was finalized in early October.

Wonder and Morris have two sons, age 14 and 10, and they will share custody. However, Wonder was ordered to pay $25,000 per month for child support. Many would say that the amount ordered is not a lot for someone of Wonder’s status. But many media outlets referred to the amount as “shocking” and “hefty.” The story has caused many mothers and fathers who are ordered to pay child support to ask the question: How much child support is too much?

What You Need to Know

The state of Maryland calculates a parent’s child support payment through the use of a formula known as the Child Support Guidelines. A judge will typically order child support based on the Guidelines -- unless it can be demonstrated that using them would not be proper or unjust.

Generally speaking, the parent with primary physical custody of the children is the one who receives support; however, the amount ordered can change depending on each parent’s income, as well as if the parents share physical custody (which, in Maryland means each parent has the children overnight for over 35 percent of the year).

In some states, a noncustodial parent who makes $3,000 per month and has three kids might be forced to pay almost half of his or her earnings. The factors considered for child support vary from state to state, but in Maryland, some of the more important factors include:

  • The actual monthly income of each parent, meaning wages/salary, as well as Social Security benefits, bonuses, alimony, workers’ compensation and other forms of income
  • The adjusted actual monthly income of each parent, which takes into account any current child support obligations and alimony payments
  • Childcare expenses (for working parents), which can include daycare or before and after care
  • Health insurance
  • Extraordinary medical expenses that are not covered by insurance

If the paying parent believes he or she is paying too much child support, that parent does have an option. He or she can ask the court to modify the payment; however, it should be noted that it will be difficult to get a court to lower the payment to an amount below that contained in the Guidelines. Still, if the parent can demonstrate why the Guideline amount is improper and why it would be in his or her children’s best interest to lower the amount, it may be possible to get it lowered.

Call For a Free Consultation

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore & Towson Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.