Due to recent changes, there are serious shifts coming to child custody and child support in Maryland as of October 1, 2020. Both the method for calculating child support and the standard for shared physical custody, barring a veto from Governor Larry Hogan, will be different for cases filed on or after the effective date.
Shared Physical Custody in Maryland
Currently, shared physical custody requires the non-custodial parent to have a child for at least 128 overnight stays (35% of the year) annually. The new regulations will consider shared physical custody as the non-custodial parent having the child for 92 overnights (25% of the year). The current guidelines create a “cliff,” where if the non-custodial parent has custody more than 128 nights, the shared custody calculation was used. This change will create a slope instead of a cliff, so that parents who keep the child for over 25% of the year but less than 30% of the year could experience greater recognition under the law and reduced child support payments.
Child Support in Maryland
The other law that is undergoing radical change is the calculation method for child support in Maryland. In accordance with changes to what constitutes shared physical custody, child support calculations will be adjusted October 1, 2020, to change the bar for shared custody from 237/128 to 273/92. If a parent keeps the child for more than 25% of the year but less than 30%, the child support obligation will be changed. Now, the share of basic adjusted child support will be multiplied by the percentage of the time that the child spends with the other parent to determine a baseline obligation.
For example, if a parent keeps the child more than 25% of the year but less than 26% (more than 92 but less than 94 overnights), the child support obligation will be multiplied by 0.10. It is critical to note that this will not automatically apply to past decisions, but it can be utilized when filing to modify child support in Maryland in the future to potentially alter the amount being paid.
Get Help with Child Support in Maryland with Lebovitz Law
If you are interested in divorcing an abusive spouse or looking to change custody in the aftermath of a domestic abuse situation, Lebovitz Law can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today.