The state of Maryland offers in-person and online child support services for both custodial and non-custodial parents. Whether you need to file for child support in Maryland or request a child support modification, the following "Frequently Asked Questions" will help you access the child support services you need:
How do I find local child support services agency in Maryland?
Start by visiting the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration website, which provides a comprehensive list of local child support agencies in each county throughout the state.
Alternatively, you can call 2-1-1 to find the office nearest you.
How do I file for child support services in Maryland?
The following steps will help you establish a child support order in Maryland:
- Become familiar with Maryland's child support guidelines. While child support laws vary from state to state, knowing more about the statutes in Maryland will help you prepare for your case.
- Print an application for child support services in Maryland. The application will include a series of financial questions, which you need to answer to the best of your ability. It will help to have recent tax records and pay stubs available as you complete the initial application. You will also need to provide details such as your income, housing expenses, child care expenses, and medical expenses. The more detailed and honest you can be, the better.
- Submit the application online or in person at your local child support agency.
How much child support will I owe or receive?
In Maryland, child support is based on a number of figures, including each parent's income, work-related child care expenses, health insurance costs, and medical expenses. Each parent must submit this information, along with the financial documentation to back it up.
Parents looking for a general estimate can enter figures into the Maryland Child Support Calculator online. While it won't be considered final, this tool can help you determine approximately how much child support you will owe or receive.
Once your child support order has been established, you can also sign up online to pay or receive payments through Maryland's eChild Support system. This online accounting system streamlines child support collection and distribution. It also provides up-to-date accounting information for your records, so there is little confusion about how much is owed.
How do I file for a child support modification in Maryland?
The state of Maryland allows parents to ask the courts to formally review child support amounts and/or request a modification in the event that: a) If there has been a significant change in circumstances since the child support order was initially issued or b) if three years have passed—either since the order was issued or since it was last considered for modification.
Legitimate changes in circumstances include significant changes in:
- Child care costs
- Medical expenses
- The financial needs of the child (or children)
- The family's child custody arrangement
Parents who wish to have their child support order reviewed and/or modified should go through the process of applying for child support services in Maryland and completing the required financial statement documentation. Once received, the existing child support order will be reviewed and considered for modification. In the event that a modification is issued, it will stand for three years, or until circumstances change again and either parent requests an additional review of the order.
Where can I access additional child support resources?
There are several federal and state resources available to you, including: