2 factors in Maryland Child Support Guidelines Calculation in 2012
-Income of Parents, Number of Children
The number of children is only the children to these two parents in common. They get plugged into the worksheet for the respective parent they live with. If there is more than one child and they live with different parents, two guidelines worksheets are employed and the results are deducted/added together.
Income, as with all other factors, is calculated on a monthly basis. Income is defined in the Maryland Code as “Income from any source.”
Obviously, income has a wide latitude. For persons who are not self employed the court can usually settle upon an average by review of tax returns, W2’s and pay stubs. Overtime, commissions, tips and bonuses are included as an average unless there are specific reasons to show that an average is inappropriate. Examples of that would be a letter from the employer indicating that overtime or other income is not being paid any longer for some business reason beyond the respective parents control.
Self employed persons are entitled to a more complex review to determine what income will be factored into their guidelines. There are many, many kinds of self employment so there is no universal rule that would guide the court in every circumstance. It is also important to note that, just because an expense qualifies under the tax code does not mean that the child support court must give it the same treatment. Take for example depreciation, entertainment, car payments, home office rent etc. Nevertheless, a rule of reason will usually prevail.
Income and child care are by far the most contentious factors in the formula. Made more so by the fact that many custody litigants are so bitterly at odds regarding child support. Often an income change can have little effect on the total child support obligation. Seasoned divorce and custody lawyers will tell you that child care is where the rubber really meets the road.
Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place.
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