Legal Blog

Maryland courts use the Maryland Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support that one parent must pay to the other. A legitimate job loss may be grounds for a reduction in the child support payment. However, when a paying parent intentionally becomes unemployed, underemployed, or takes a job earning less money to avoid paying full child support, the court may impute income to that parent.

Before a court can impute income, the court must be satisfied that a parent has voluntarily impoverished himself or herself. That is, he is underemployed or unemployed under circumstances that reflect a desire to avoid or to diminish the child support obligation.

Imputing income means that the court attributes additional earnings to a paying parent's actual income. The imputed income or additional amount of money is then added to the parent's earnings, to arrive at a total income number for that parent.

A court, when deciding whether to impute income will consider a number of factors, including:

  • Past child support payment history, including failure to pay;
  • Employment/unemployment history, including earnings;
  • Local job market in the area where the parent resides;
  • Education level of the parent;
  • Skills and marketability of the parent;
  • The physical health and condition of the parent; and
  • Good faith efforts to find more or greater employment.

It is a valid consideration when a parent does not legitimately have any or much income. It is a completely different scenario when a parent tries to manipulate his/her income to avoid paying the full amount of child support. If you find yourself in this situation, you need the experience of Linda Sorg Ostovitz of Offit Kurman to help get the process started. Your child’s welfare is a high priority, and I will work to ensure that your child gets the financial support he/she deserves.  Contact me at or telephone (301) 575-0381.



If you are considering divorce and need the assistance of an experienced lawyer to help you work through some of these issues, then please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at or 301-575-0381.




Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.






Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 135 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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