Attorney With Expertise in Court- Ordered Child Support in Michigan
When children are involved, the end of a marriage does not mean the end of financial responsibilities. But without proper legal representation, a spouse can find themselves with minimal support for their family, or on the other hand paying significantly more than they are able. Don’t let poor representation cost your children the financial support they’re entitled to during your divorce. We will fight hard to make sure the court understands your financial needs when determining child support levels for your children.
In Michigan, both parents are required to support their children until a child reaches the age of 18, graduates from high school, marries, dies, emancipates or joins the military. Additionally, support may be required past the age of 18 as well, such as in the case of a child who is still in high school. Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent for the child’s living expenses, health insurance, medical and dental expenses, and more.
Understanding Child Support
The formula for determining appropriate child support typically involves taking a detailed look at both spouse’s finances. Since 2007, child guidelines have focused on an “income shares” model. The courts look at both spouse’s salary, commissions, self-employment income, bonuses, overtime, severance pay, pension income (if it is recurring), interest income, dividend income, trust income, capital gains, gifts, prizes, lottery winnings, and income from a variety of other sources. That “combined adjusted income” amount is used to establish a “Child Support Obligation Table” which goes on to help determine a “Basic Child Support Obligation,” which is then applied to each parent’s proportionate share of the combined adjusted income. All told, the process involves several separate steps.
Confused? It’s easy to get lost in the complex rules and guidelines that go into determining how much child support you and your child are owed. We will help you review your finances and answer any questions you have about how a child support determination will be reached. We will work hard to ensure that the court has the best information possible when making a decision about your case.
Changes in Life Circumstances
Life circumstances don’t always stay the same, and neither should your child support schedule. If you experience a change in income, your previous schedule may no longer be suitable for you or your children. Michigan law does allow for the modification of support schedules, and we can petition the court to modify your schedule in a way that matches your life needs. If a major change means your old schedule is no longer a fit, give us a call right away.
Included among the factors that a Michigan court may consider in making a determination to adjust your child support guidelines are:
Increased medical costs for the child
Increased educational costs for the child
One party’s other support obligations to another household
Changed medical expenses of the parent
In-kind contribution of either parent
Extraordinary travel expenses to exercise visitation or shared physical custody