Maine Child Support Guidelines

In Maine, child support guidelines provide a standard by which the state's family law courts determine the amounts of child support awards. These guidelines take several factors into account (including how much each parent earns, the child(ren)'s estimated expenses, and other factors relevant to the family's finances) in order to determine how much the "non-custodial parent" (the parent who doesn't live with the children) will be ordered to pay to the "custodial parent" (the parent who lives with the children). The table below briefly outlines Maine's child support guidelines.

Code Section

Maine Revised Statutes 19-A section 2006: Support Guidelines

Determination of Basic Support Entitlement

The family court determines how much support each child is entitled to by following the three steps below:
  1. The court determines the annual gross income of both parties
  2. The two incomes are added together to provide a combined annual gross income
  3. The combined annual gross income figure is then applied to the child support table in order to determine the basic support entitlement for each child

Total Basic Support Obligation

The total basic support obligation is determined by adding the child care costs, health insurance premiums, and extraordinary medical expenses to the basic support entitlement calculated above.

Computation of Parental Support Obligation

 

The total basic support obligation is then divided between the parents in proportion to their respective gross incomes.

The court requires the non-custodial parent to pay their share of the total basic support obligation to the custodial parent. This is because the custodial parent is presumed to spend their share of the total basic support obligation directly on the child(ren).

Special Circumstances

The court will also consider the following special circumstances when determining child support:
  • If the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to support a child other than the child(ren) for whom the support order is being made
  • If the parents' combined annual income exceeds $400,000
  • If the annual gross income of the non-custodial parent is less than the federal poverty guideline
  • If the parents provide substantially equal care for the child(ren), or
  • If each parent is the custodial parent for at least one of the children involved

Deviating From the Guidelines

In Maine there is a rebuttable presumption that a child support award calculated using the guidelines outlined above is in the best interest of the child(ren). However, if the court finds that an order based on the support guidelines would be inequitable or unjust then the court will deviate from the guidelines. Revised Statutes section 19-A section 2007(3) outlines the criteria used for deviating from the guidelines.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Maine's child support guidelines contact a local family law attorney.

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