Most Parents Will Pay More Under New Child Support Guidelines

Increased Payments Only Apply to New Cases

BALTIMORE (October 2, 2010)—Parents who establish a new child support case with the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration will have their child support order calculated using updated guidelines that went into effect Friday. The guidelines are the schedule judges use to determine the amount of payment a non-custodial parent must pay towards the support of their child.

In comparison to the former guidelines, the vast majority of parents with new child support cases will pay approximately $50 to $100 more a month in child support under the new guidelines. However, the lowest-income child support payers will actually pay slightly less than they would have under the old guidelines.

Approximately 500,000 children receive state-mandated child support from a parent in Maryland. The Maryland Department of Human Resources manages about half of the child support caseload. Last fiscal year, DHR collected and distributed more than $516 million in child support payments.

Prior to the bill's passage, Maryland ranked the wealthiest state in the nation—as measured by median household income, according to the latest U.S. census statistics—but only 41st in average child support obligation, according to a DHR press release. Prior to updating the law, Maryland was one of only seven states with outdated child support guidelines, added the DHR.

The Maryland Department of Human Resources is the state's social service provider. In terms of its annual budget, DHR is Maryland's fourth largest state agency.

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