How High Could My Child Support be in Maryland/D.C.?

Kid holding a jar of money

If you are a celebrity or a person making millions, your child support payment obligations could be very high indeed after a divorce in Maryland or the District of Columbia. According to reports, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, pays $200,000 a month in child support to his ex-wife Kim Kardashian according to court documents from their California divorce settlement. The couple had four children, all under the age of 10 at the time of the divorce. 

Hollywood celebrity Charlie Sheen reportedly pays about $77,000 a month for his four children to different women. At one time, former MGM resort owner Kirk Kerkorian was paying $100,000 per month in child support to his ex-wife for his daughter.

As can be seen, with true high-end earners, the amount of child support could be very high. If you have questions related to child support, the Maryland and D.C. divorce attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl are here for you and ready to help. 

Still, even the high payments for child support paid by celebrities are rooted in the basic legal principles of how child support is determined by Maryland and D.C. divorce courts. The legal basics involve an assessment of income from both parents, the number of children, and the standard of living to which the children (and parents) have become accustomed. In both Maryland and D.C., there are statutory guidelines. In simple terms, the guidelines are in a “grid” format where income runs down the left side and the number of children runs across the top. The “income” number is based on the combined income of the two parents. Going across the grid for the number of children and coming down to the level of income, there is a “box” that states how much — total — the couple should be paying to support that child or that number of children. 

For example, in Maryland, the “box” on the grid for a couple with a joint income of $180,000 per year and one child says approximately $23,500 per year. In D.C., the number in the “box” is a bit higher: about $26,500 per year. See the D.C. child support calculator here.

From that point, the divorce court will “divvy up” the child support obligation between the parents based on the individual income.

If you look at these numbers and do some simple math, essentially, in Maryland and D.C., parents are expected to pay something like 14-15% of their combined annual income to support their child or children. So, in theory, your child support could be as high as 14-15% of your annual income. But, if we look at the child support being paid by celebrities, the actual payments are much less in terms of percentages. If we assume that Ye has an annual income of just $100 million (not excluding allowable deductions), he is paying only 2.4% of his income for child support. On the other hand, Charlie Sheen reportedly earns about $6 million a year. Based on that, his $77,000 per month child support calculates to about 12.5% of his income. Sheen’s child support payments are more in line with the requirements of Maryland and D.C.

Maryland And D.C. Family Law Attorneys

Contact the seasoned and experienced Maryland and D.C. family law lawyers at The Law Offices of Thomas Stahl for more information. We have the skills and expertise you need. We have proven experience with family law for Maryland and the District of Columbia. Schedule a consultation today or call us at (410) 696-4326 or (202) 964-7280. We have offices in Columbia, MD, and Washington, DC.

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