Child support is determined by a formula based largely on the income of the parties and the custody determination. Parties cannot bargain away or waive the right to child support; child support belongs to the child and a parent cannot decide s/he does not want child support. The formula is mandatory unless the parties can show there is a justifiable reason to deviate from the formula.
Child Support in Michigan
If the child spends more than 128 overnights with the parent that pays child support, child support may be reduced based on a calculation using the joint economic responsibility formula, which means that the support obligation will go down.
Also, child support may include a contribution for childcare expenses and uninsured health care expenses. Usually, uninsured health care expenses will be divided between the parties depending on the ratio of their incomes.
In most cases, parties make child support payments through Friend of the Court. Friend of the Court provides for immediate automatic withholding of child support payments from the payor’s income.
Friend of the Court
The parties may waive Friend of the Court’s services and elect for direct payments if it is approved by the Court. However, that is typically not a good idea as Friend of the Court ensures proper accounting of child support payments. The last thing a payor wants to face is an enforcement action because the other parent claims s/he did not make child support payments. Nonpayment of child support may lead to being held in contempt of court (which carries 93 days in jail) or criminal felony charges.
Child support may be modified upon showing a change of circumstances. Child support is usually ordered until the child reaches 18 years old or graduates from high school (but no later than 19 ½ years old).
Free Consultation with a Child Support Attorney in Michigan
If you have questions regarding child support or would like a free consultation with a child support attorney in Michigan, call the Divorce Attorneys of Michigan at (248) 785-3634.