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Michigan Child Support Lawyer

There are a number of factors used to determine the amount of child support that will be paid to one party or the other.

Some of the factors used to determine child support are:

  • Net Monthly Income of Both Parents
  • Number of Children Supported by Parent
  • Cost of Health Insurance for the Child(ren)
  • Percentage of Overnight Stays with Each Parent

Michigan Child Support Lawyer: Protecting Men's Rights since 1988 - supportagree-content

In some cases, child support may not necessarily be ordered based on the child support guidelines.

If an agreement has been made between the mother and father, the parties will have to request the Court to allow a deviation from the child support guidelines. In addition to child support, there are also calculations to be made for ordinary medical expenses for the child. Ordinary medical expenses include a standard amount per child, per year. Child care expenses may also be factored based on the age of the child(ren). Included with a child support amount is an allocation of work-related child care expenses for the child.

What Is Child Support?

Child support is a parent’s court-ordered payment to help with the costs of raising a child. Child support normally stops when a child turns 18. However, a court can order support for a child who is between 18 and 19 ½ if the child attends high school full-time, has a reasonable expectation of graduating by age 19 1/2, and lives full-time with the parent that gets child support or at an institution. There is no legal requirement to support an adult child who has graduated from high school, including health care or the costs of college.

Child support is based upon a statutory formula, called the Michigan Child Support Formula, and normally includes a base amount, plus amounts for health care and child care costs. Child support can be ordered in a cases involving divorce, legal separation, paternity or custody, or in a stand-alone child support case. Certain paternity and child support cases are filed by the county prosecutor on behalf of the State of Michigan where a child is receiving any form of public assistance. The law states that children have a right to financial support from both parents. A parent can't avoid paying child support by agreeing not to have parenting time (visitation) or by agreeing to have their parental rights terminated.

In fact, it’s even possible that a parent be ordered to continue to pay child support after their parental rights have been terminated.

  • Who Pays Child Support?

    The Michigan Child Support Formula determines which parent will pay child support and the support amount, based on factors including each parent's net income, after adjusting for allowable deductions including taxes, and the number of overnights per year that the child spends with each parent.

    The person who pays child support is the “payer.” The person who gets child support is the “payee.”

  • Calculation of Child Support

    The amount of child support is calculated using the Michigan Child Support Formula. It takes into account the parents’ incomes, the number of overnights per year the child spends with each parent, the number of children supported, the cost of health care, health insurance and child care, and other factors such as children from a second family. The court must order support according to the formula unless the result would be unfair or inappropriate. Courts almost always follow the formula unless the parties agree to a different amount.

    If the parents reach an agreement as to the child support amount which deviates from the statutory formula, the court can consider the agreement, but does not have to approve it.

  • Common Issues in Child Support Determination

    Even though child support is based upon a mathematical formula, the factors used for that calculation can be subject to litigation. Those factors can include the actual income earns, or could be earning. Courts can determine that one or both parents have voluntarily reduced their incomes and that they have an unexercised ability to earn income which could be used to support the child. Calculating income of self-employed parents, parents who work in a “cash based” business, or those whose income fluctuates with overtime, commissions or bonuses, can be complex. Likewise, determining an average number of overnights a parent has with the child can be an issue of fact. Other litigation can involve what is a reasonable cost for child care and health insurance premiums attributable to the children.

  • Modifying Child Support

    Child support is subject to modification if a parent files a motion and can establish a change of circumstances as to either parent’s income, deductions, child or health care costs, or overnight parenting time. Child support can also be administratively reviewed by the Friend of the Court every 3 years at the request of one of the parents. However, a court typically cannot order a higher or lower support amount retroactively. Any change of support would normally take effect on the date a party files a motion on this issue. So it behooves a parent who has had a reduction of income to immediately seek a modification, since the court won’t go automatically back to the date that income was reduced and instead will continue to charge the amount set forth in the current order.

These complex issues lend themselves to seeking proper legal representation with an attorney experienced in child support cases.

At ADAM, we will aggressively fight for a fair child support determination, whether our client is the one paying or receiving the child support. Of course, the final say in the amount of child support ordered for a party comes from the Judge assigned to the case. Call today for a free phone consultation pertaining to the determination of child support.

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