When figuring child support, the state does consider other children a parent may have to support. The whole goal of child support is to ensure parents are responsible for their children and provide for them financially. The court does not want to take support away from children to benefit other children, which is why other children the parent may factor into a child support award.
The Maryland Department of Human Services explains the state will use other children as a factor when the parent has a legal obligation to provide them with support.
Parents are responsible only for those children they gave birth to, have a genetic connection to or legally adopted. It is only children who fall into these categories who the state considered when making child support calculations.
The state will not consider children who may live with you and who you provide for if you do not have a legal obligation to provide for them. For example, if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend who has a child that lives with you and you take care of, you cannot count that child for child support calculation purposes because you legally do not have the responsibility to provide for that child. That child’s mother and father have that responsibility.
It is important to note that the number of other children each parent has will impact the final award. Both parents, whether receiving or paying, get credit for other children they must financially support. This can make an award higher or lower, depending on the situation.