Paying child support is an important obligation. Making those payments on time helps the custodial parent guarantee that your child has the best care, the best home and the things they need to grow up successfully in their home.

As a parent who has to pay child support, it’s a good idea to know how child support is calculated. Maryland uses the income shares model to determine child support obligations. That model considers how much money each parent makes, how many children there are, the alimony being paid, any costs associated with day care, the cost of extraordinary medical care, child support for other children and alimony being received. By looking at all these factors, the judge can make a better decision regarding the amount of support that would be fair to pay.

Maryland’s laws require that you pay child support at least until a child reaches 18 or is 19 and is still in high school. However, keep in mind that any child support in arrears must be paid, even if the time needed to do so will extend past the child’s 18th birthday. If you are having trouble paying support, then it’s vital that you work with your attorney to seek a modification through the court. Failing to pay can put you in contempt of court since you’d be violating a court order. If you lose your job but have unemployment benefits, you will still need to make child support payments, even if they come directly from your unemployment benefits.

Child support is extremely important, so remember to pay it on time and to go through the court to make any changes to the support order.