Michigan Child Support
In the state of Michigan, children are entitled to the support of both parents. When the parents are married or living together, that support is provided directly. However, when a couple with children divorces or paternity is established, the court will establish child support to be paid to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent.
The Michigan Child Support Formula dictates the amount of this payment in the vast majority of cases, although the court has the authority to deviate from the formula under certain limited circumstances. Some of the factors that may justify an award of child support outside the formula include a child with special needs, extraordinary medical expenses of a parent or child and a parent who is incarcerated or otherwise without income.
The Michigan Child Support Formula
The formula for determining child support takes into account:
- The income of each parent
- The number of shared minor children
- Other children being supported by either parent
- Ordinary medical costs
- Child care costs
- Educational expenses
- Parenting time allocated to each parent
- Health insurance premiums
Whether you are seeking child support, need to understand your child support obligations or have experienced a change in circumstances and want to pursue a child support modification, we can help. Call 269-978-6560 today to schedule your free consultation.
Modifying Child Support
Like custody and visitation, child support may be modified by the court, but only on a showing of a significant change in circumstances. Some events that might support a motion to modify child support include:
- Job loss of either parent
- A significant increase or decrease in the income of either parent
- Significantly increased expenses, such as extraordinary medical expenses
Generally, a change will not be considered significant and will not warrant modification of the existing child support order if the new calculation would result in a change of less than $50 per month.
If you or your children’s other parent has experienced a change in circumstances and you’re not sure whether you qualify for a modification of child support, schedule a free consultation to discuss your options. Attorney Tara L. Sharp will assess your situation and advise you as to whether a modification is likely to be granted and what change in support you might anticipate.
Collecting Past Due Child Support
Michigan also provides a formula for the repayment of past due child support. The delinquent parent will typically be required to pay 2% of the total past due amount each month. However, the total monthly payment ordered to reduce arrears should not be less than $50 nor more than half of the current monthly payment amount.
If there is no current child support due—for example, where the only child has reached the age of majority but a past due balance remains—the court will generally require payment at the same level as the most recent support order.
If you’re having trouble collecting past due child support, we can help. A parent who fails to pay child support as ordered is in contempt of court, and a Motion to Show Cause can be used to compel payment. The court may order wage garnishment or garnishment of bank accounts to fulfill delinquent child support obligations.
Consult with a Kalamazoo Child Support Lawyer
Child support plays an important role in providing security for your children and ensuring that they receive the support they deserve from both parents. Whether you’re seeking child support for the first time, unsure about the amount of child support you may owe and how it’s paid, having trouble collecting on support already ordered by the court or facing a change in circumstances that requires a modification, your first step should be to get knowledgeable advice from an experienced child support attorney.
Call 269-978-6560 to schedule your free consultation.