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Md. Senate passes first update to child support guidelines in two decades

The Maryland Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the first overhaul of child support guidelines in the state since 1989.

Under the legislation, which passed 43 to 2, the schedule used by courts to determine child support obligations would be updated to reflect more current economic realities. In some cases, noncustodial parents would pay significantly more each month than those with similar incomes do now.

Thumbnail image for Frosh mug.jpgSen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery), the bill's chief sponsor, said the change would result in "more money going to children" in most cases.

"These guidelines have stayed fixed for 22 years," Frosh said. "They're too low."

Zirkin mug.JPGSen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) argued that the legislation amounted to "a massive redistribution of wealth" that needed more scrutiny.

"Have we really done enough work on this?" he asked his colleagues.

Maryland's current guidelines were enacted in 1989 in response to a federal mandate. The state is one of nine that has not updated its child support schedule since then, according to Maryland legislative analysts.

While Maryland ranks first in the nation in median income, the amount recommended for child support ranks 41st among all states and the District, according to legislative analysts.

Frosh's bill now moves to the House, where similar legislation has been introduced but not yet acted upon.

By John Wagner  |  March 9, 2010; 11:21 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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Next: Yeas and Nays, Today in the Md. General Assembly


I wounder is child custoday laws and/or pendalies were also updated. It would only be fair for fathers to have some type of meaningful enforcement mechanism to use when the recipient of this "Updated Child support" payments decide, for one reason or another, they should not have court ordered access to their children.
Ooops!! I know the answer..."NOT" "NO WAY" "NEVER."

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | March 9, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

They will make it so that no one can afford the payments and fill the jails up...that would be real nice for the kids!I cant see how they could grant even more than they do now!!!!

Posted by: brent4a | March 9, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Children should be supported by both parents based on a percentage of the their respective incomes. These guidelines illustrate for the first time in over 20 years data that reflects accurately the cost of rearing children.

The income of both parents are considered, the contributions each parent make toward health insurance and the contribution toward daycare are also considered. Therefore both parents are responsible for supporting their children, not just the person who does not live with the family. Bottom line both parents are responsible for supporting their children based on their respective incomes, that's what these guidelines do!

Posted by: tamelabresnahan | March 9, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

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