Child Support

"Chart" Does Not Address Combined Incomes In Excess of $180,000  

The Guideline Chart” provides basic child support figures for “combined adjusted actual incomes” up to $180,000.00.  Above that figure, the amount of basic child support can become more complicated.


However, in an attempt to keep the calculation as straight-forward as possible, Courts in Maryland (There are exceptions to what I am saying here) start with the idea that the minimum amount of basic child support is the amount which would be owed if the “combined adjusted actual incomes” were $180,000.00 per year.  Beyond and above that, the Court can move in one of two directions.

Actual Expense Method-Court Discretion

First, the court can look at all other factors which had traditionally been considered in making child support awards; i.e., the actual expenses of raising the children, the financial circumstances of the parties, their station and standing in life, the age of the parties and the children, their physical conditions and the expenses to educate the children. Once that route is taken, all of the traditional debates about whether expenses have actually been incurred, whether they ought to have been incurred etc. rise to the surface and open up all sorts of avenues for dispute.


Some courts may use what is known as the “extrapolation” method. The principle purpose of this method is to increase predictability and certainty, and by doing so, to increase the frequency of settlement. This method assumes that for each additional $1000.00 in combined actual incomes in excess of the $180,000.00 limit, the amount of child support will increase by a fixed percentage, usually an amount approximating 8% per $1000.00 of incremental combined incomes.

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