Every four years, states are required to review their child support guidelines to ensure that the guidelines are providing appropriate support obligations and to analyze case data on the application of and deviations from the guidelines. Since 1997, the University of Maryland has been asked by the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) to conduct the case-level review portion of this quadrennial review. The reports listed here summarize our findings.
Reports are free of charge, and may be downloaded from this page.
This infographic summarizes the child support updates in Maryland Family Law that will be effective in July 2022. There are three main areas of these updates: (1) expanding the guidelines schedule; (2) adjustments to the Self-Support Reserve; and (3) definitions related to income imputation.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines: 2015-2018 Case-Level Review
(Updated September 2022) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Logan Passarella
|The main focus of this report is to determine whether orders established or modified between January 2015 and December 2018 followed the Maryland guidelines, and if they did deviate, how often and for what reason were there deviations. The information used for this report provides a rich data source that allows us to explore other relevant topics, including the practice of income imputation, the effectiveness of the Self-Support Reserve (SSR), the phenomenon of complex families, and finally, payment compliance among the orders established during the study period.
Actual Earnings and Payment Outcomes among Obligors with Imputed Income
(August 2018) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Passarella
|This report examines the actual earnings and payment outcomes of obligors whose incomes were imputed to full-time minimum wage (FTMW) for purposes of establishing a support order. These outcomes are compared to obligors whose incomes were not imputed to this amount. Additional comparisons are made with other low-income obligors whose actual incomes were used during the establishment process or whose incomes were imputed to an amount less than FTMW.
Do Deviations from Child Support Guidelines Improve Payment Compliance?
(March 2018) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Passarella
|In Maryland, about one quarter of child support orders deviate from the guidelines-recommended amount. Ideally, these deviations encourage obligors to make regular payments, but there has been no prior research on this topic. In this brief, we found that deviations appear to have a small but positive influence on payment compliance.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines: 2011 - 2014 Case-Level Review
(November 2016) Lauren Hall, Natalie Demyan, Letitia Passarella
|This report examines a random sample of IV-D child support orders established or modified between 2011 and 2014. Consistent with previous reviews, most (70.7%) order amounts were based on Maryland’s child support guidelines. However, many of the orders that deviated from the guidelines-recommended amount did not list a reason for the deviation.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines: Case Level Review, 2007-2010
(November 2012) Lauren Hall, Hae Jung Kim, Letitia Logan Passarella, Catherine E. Born
|Federal law as well as Maryland law requires a quadrennial, case-level review of the application of quantitative child support guidelines when establishing or modifying support obligations. This report reviews a random sample of child support cases with orders established or modified in calendar years 2007 through 2010. Most order amounts (70.3%) were based on the child support guidelines-recommended amount.
Child Support Guidelines: Case-Level Review
(November 2008) Correne Saunders, Danielle Young, Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Catherine E. Born
|According to federal law and regulations, states must use a standardized approach to establish child support order amounts and review their approach or guidelines at least every four years. Today’s report presents findings obtained from review of a random sample of Maryland child support cases in which support orders were established or modified in calendar years 2002 - 2006.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines: Case-Level Review
(November 2004) Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Catherine E. Born, Correne Saunders
|Maryland's child support case-level guidelines review for the period 1999-2001.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines: Case-Level Report
(December 2000) Welfare and Child Support Research & Training Group
|Maryland's child support case-level guidelines review for the period 1996-1998.
Maryland Child Support Guidelines: Review of Case-Level Data
(December 1996) Dyrenda Vallair, Catherine E. Born
|Maryland's child support case-level guidelines review for the period 1993-1995.