About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.



Statute Text

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Article - Family Law
§12–202.  
(a)    (1)   Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, in any proceeding to establish or modify child support, whether pendente lite or permanent, the court shall use the child support guidelines set forth in this subtitle.
(2)    (i)   There is a rebuttable presumption that the amount of child support which would result from the application of the child support guidelines set forth in this subtitle is the correct amount of child support to be awarded.
(ii)   The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case.
(iii)   In determining whether the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the court may consider:
1.   the terms of any existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order, including any provisions for payment of mortgages or marital debts, payment of college education expenses, the terms of any use and possession order or right to occupy the family home under an agreement, any direct payments made for the benefit of the children required by agreement or order, or any other financial considerations set out in an existing separation or property settlement agreement or court order; and
2.   the presence in the household of either parent of other children to whom that parent owes a duty of support and the expenses for whom that parent is directly contributing.
(iv)   The presumption may not be rebutted solely on the basis of evidence of the presence in the household of either parent of other children to whom that parent owes a duty of support and the expenses for whom that parent is directly contributing.
(v)    1.   If the court determines that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case, the court shall make a written finding or specific finding on the record stating the reasons for departing from the guidelines.
2.   The court’s finding shall state:
A.    the amount of child support that would have been required under the guidelines;
B.    how the order varies from the guidelines;
C.    how the finding serves the best interests of the child; and
D.    in cases in which items of value are conveyed instead of a portion of the support presumed under the guidelines, the estimated value of the items conveyed.
(b)   The adoption or revision of the guidelines set forth in this subtitle is not a material change of circumstance for the purpose of a modification of a child support award.
(c)   On or before January 1, 1993, and at least every 4 years after that date, the Child Support Enforcement Administration of the Department of Human Resources shall:
(1)   review the guidelines set forth in this subtitle to ensure that the application of the guidelines results in the determination of appropriate child support award amounts; and
(2)   report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly, subject to § 2–1246 of the State Government Article.