As of 2020, the Maryland Department of Human Services reported the average child support order was $477 a month. Child support is an important aspect of ensuring the well-being of children whose parents are not together.
In Maryland, the child support program assists with establishing and enforcing child support orders. Parents involved with child support orders should have an idea of how the program works and its key components.
The Maryland child support program
The Maryland Child Support Administration handles all child support matters in the state. Its primary objective is to ensure that children receive the financial resources they need to thrive.
Availability of services
Any parent or legal guardian who has custody of a child and requires financial support can apply for child support services. The agency also provides assistance to noncustodial parents.
A custodial parent can either visit a local child support office or apply online through the Maryland Department of Human Services website. The application involves providing information about both parents and the child, including details about income and expenses. Noncustodial parents may also use this website for questions or to get payment information on an open case.
Child support order establishment
Once the agency processes the application, it will work to establish a child support order. The order specifies the amount of financial support that the noncustodial parent must pay to the custodial parent or guardian. Each parent’s income, the child’s needs and the Maryland Child Support Guidelines help set the amount of payments.
Child support order enforcement
The agency also enforces child support orders. If the noncustodial parent fails to make the required payments, the agency can take various enforcement actions, such as wage garnishment, intercepting tax refunds, suspending driver’s licenses and pursuing legal action.
Modification is available for orders if there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial change in income or the child’s needs. Either parent can request a modification through the agency. It will review the case to determine if a modification is necessary.
The Maryland Child Support Administration handles child support cases in the state. It is a valuable resource for parents seeking or paying financial support for their children.