Sterling Heights Child Support Lawyers Helping Men Reach Fair Support Agreements
The law requires both parents to financially support their minor children when they are separating. Therefore, a parent must fulfill this legal obligation even if they get divorced or separate from the child’s other parent. To ensure each parent provides support, the court can order child support payments.
Child support payments are typically ordered in divorce, separation, or paternity cases in Sterling Heights if you have minor children. If you are a father who is preparing for a child support dispute, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from the skilled lawyers at American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM). For over 30 years, our child support attorneys have helped men in Sterling Heights protect their best interests in family law disputes. Now, let us go to work for you.
How Are Child Support Payments Calculated in Sterling Heights?
The court uses the Michigan Child Support Formula to calculate child support payments. The formula takes a number of factors into consideration when making this calculation, including:
- Each parent’s income
- Number of overnights with the child
- How many children are being supported
- The child’s medical and health care expenses
- Child care costs
In most cases, the judge will use this formula to determine how much child support to order. But the judge does have the authority to deviate from these guidelines when calculating child support. The judge can only do this if they determine that following the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate given the child’s unique circumstances.
For instance, if the child has special needs or if one parent has a significantamount of time with the child but not many overnights, the judge may determine that the formula does not provide enough child support.
When Does Child Support End?
A parent’s legal obligation to support their child ends when the child is an adult, which is why child support payments typically end when the child turns 18. However, the court has the authority to extend child support payments past the child’s 18th birthday if:
- The child is enrolled full-time in high school.
- The child has a reasonable expectation of graduating from high school.
- The child currently resides full-time with either the custodial parent who receives child support or at an institution.
All three conditions must be met for the court to extend child support payments past the child’s 18th birthday. If the conditions are met, the court can order the paying parent to continue making child support payments until the child is 19.5 years old.
How is Child Support Enforced in Sterling Heights?
Fathers must comply with the terms of a court-ordered child support agreement—even if they disagree with it. There are a number of different methods that the court can use to enforce the terms of a child support agreement, including:
- Withholding income from your employer, Social Security, unemployment compensation, or workers’ compensation
- Placing a lien on your personal property, including bank accounts and insurance settlements
- Suspending your driver’s license or professional license
- Garnishing your tax refunds
- Placing a boot on your vehicle
- Rejecting your passport application
- Holding you in contempt of court, which can lead to jail time
If you have missed two or more months of payments, these debts will also be reported to the credit bureaus. This means your unpaid child support will appear on your credit report, lower your credit score, and impact your ability to obtain new lines of credit in the future.
Can You Modify A Child Support Agreement?
The terms of a child support agreement are not set in stone. It is possible to request a modification, but you must be able to show the court that the modification is warranted due to a substantial change in your circumstances.
For example, if you were unexpectedly issued a pay cut, this would obviously impact your income. In this case, the court may agree to recalculate your child support payments to account for your lower income.
Call Our Child Support Lawyers in Sterling Heights For A Free Phone Consultation
Every man in Sterling Heights who is involved in a child support hearing needs to be represented by an experienced attorney. If you are in this situation—regardless of whether you are the paying or receiving parent—turn to the trusted child support attorneys at ADAM for help.
Our attorneys have been representing fathers in Michigan for over three decades, so we have the experience and resources that you need to reach the best possible outcome in your case. To schedule a free phone consultation, call 248-356-2326 or submit your information using the form on this website.