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Some states look at child support changes, Maryland could be next

Maryland residents may be interested to learn about a proposal in another state to increase the amount of child support payments in that state by 3.5 percent for all parents, regardless of their incomes. The proposed changes would take place in January 2016, if approved. The review comes from a state advisory committee that is operating due to a federal mandate that requires each state to review the child support guidelines it has in place every four years.

The 14 members of this committee began their review in June 2014 and will accept comments from the public on the issue until late June. The state's supreme court, after gathering information from the public, will decide whether to adopt the changes proposed by the committee. The committee to review child support in the state includes parents who either receive or pay child support. Economists, judges, tax professionals and attorneys also assist with the review.

The job of the committee is to determine if the amount of child support being paid is enough to cover the costs of raising a child. It is based on the costs that generally would have been shared had a couple stayed together. It includes the costs associated with a variety of things, including housing, health care, clothing and recreation.

While the proposed changes, if approved, will not affect the residents of Maryland who receive or pay child support, an approval for an across-the-board increase may influence Maryland's decision makers when the time comes for the state to review its guidelines. Parents who feel that they do not receive enough child support may wish to keep an eye on national trends. Similarly, those who feel as though they pay too much may also want to watch guideline changes carefully.

Source: cjonline.com, "Proposed: Child support payments in Kansas to rise 3.5 percent", May 20, 2015

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