What Expenses Are Included in the payee’s child support and in the payor’s child support.
I worded the title of this article so that it addresses what expenses are included in child support from the point of view of both the payor AND the payee.
In the modern parlance of child custody and child support, the parent receiving child support is called either the “payee” or the “obligee” and the parent paying the support is called either an “obligor” or a “payor” parent. Personally I think the “obligor” and “obligee” terms sound sort of obnoxious, but that is what the Maryland Code calls us and either is fine.
The Maryland Child Support Code
The Maryland Code regarding child support is contained in the Maryland Annotated Code, Family Law Volume Chapter 12 and at the following link to the Maryland Code online. http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/mdcode/
The general idea behind the child support guidelines is that you enter the income, overnights and certain expenses which are paid by each respective parent. Thus in disputed child support cases this contention is always income, overnights, expenses or all three.
Every case is different. In some cases the income is an issue but not the expenses. In other cases the income is not in dispute but the overnights or the expenses are in dispute.
Generally speaking if you look at the above statute, you will see income is pretty much any income, and expenses that factor in are pretty much limited to child care, “extraordinary” medical expenses and school and/or transportation expenses.
Notable sections in the context of this article are the following:
The foregoing is a cut and paste version of the important statutes and is not a substitute for same. Nevertheless, the child support statutes don’t have an “other” type of a category and the expenses above have recently been clarified to address the more common problems like braces, psych stuff, health insurance etc.
Some people take the black and white view that the exceptions that require contribution or support over the income based child support are inclusive. In other words a payor owes child support, a portion of the expenses described in Sections 12-204 (g), (h) or (i) and that is it.
I don’t ascribe to that all inclusive view of child support for one reason, Christmas. If you are a parent who pays child support, aren’t you getting your kid(s) something for Christmas? If you answered no, ok just pay the child support and those qualified expenses and you are done. Call me in 1-18 years and tell me how it worked out for you.
If you agree that it does not include Christmas, Birthdays etc. that is a starting point. Thus you can see that at least MAYBE there are things that the law does not address. If you can get ahold of that logic, look at the foregoing and you will see a pattern on how the courts treat special expenses. In every case it reads “divided between the parents in proportion to their adjusted actual incomes.”
Thus a 16 year old son might want you both to pay his car insurance, sports equipment,, summer camp etc. If you can work it out that the expenses be divided between the parents pro-rata according to their income, you can never go wrong.
Tim Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place
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