After your child support order is finalized, you can expect to wait 30-60 days to receive your first child support payment. Once the Maryland court issues the child support order, the Child Support Administration (CSA) will generally issue an Earnings Withholding Order (EWO) in conjunction with it. If the parent paying child support works a regular W-2 job in which he or she receives a paycheck, an EWO will likely be issued to that person’s employer.
For paying parents who are self-employed or are 1099 independent contractors, they will be responsible for paying the child support like any other monthly bill. If you look at the State of Maryland’s website, it says child support orders require three to six months in order to “be established.” This is not true in our experience, nor is it very practical for custodial parents.
Maryland’s goal in calculating child support is that the children get the same amount proportionally that they would get if their parents were still together. The “income shares” model is what the State of Maryland uses to figure out what the non-custodial parent will pay the custodial parent each month.
This methodology examines the number of children they had together, both parents’ income, special needs and/or insurance costs, spousal maintenance payments (if any), and any other child support obligations the non-custodial parent may already have. There are online child support calculators to give non-custodial parents a rough estimate of what they can expect to pay.
You will not pay child support directly to your ex. It’s paid to the State of Maryland so that they may keep track of payments, minimize contact between parents who are not on good terms, and begin enforcement actions right away for missed payments. If you are self-employed, you can send a certified check or money order with your Child Support Administration (CSA) number and your telephone number written on it to:
Maryland Child Support Account
P.O. Box 17396
Baltimore, Maryland 21297
Checks without a CSA and phone number may not be credited to your account.
Please note that even non-custodial parents with W2 jobs need to send their monthly payment in via check until their employer begins automatically deducting it from their paychecks. If you are a non-custodial parent, instead of waiting for the state to notify your employer, you can simply give the final child support order to your company’s HR or accounting department as soon as you have it. This will save you from having to go get a money order or certified check every month in the meantime. Payments can also be made electronically or over the phone (844-324-3855) for an additional 2.5% processing fee.
We are the Law Office of Patrick Crawford, located in Annapolis, MD. Don’t panic if it takes a little time for the child support process to get cranking—that’s normal. Our Annapolis child support lawyers can assist you if you have any concerns about Maryland child support. Call us at (410) 216-7905 to schedule your free consultation today.