Calculating Child Support in Macomb County – Warren, Sterling Heights Lawyer, Attorney
We understand that it is expensive to support children in this economy – and very important financial issues are at stake for both the parent who is collecting child support, and the parent who has been ordered to pay child support. Our experienced child support lawyers are here to help you understand how child support works, and to ensure that you obtain the best possible child support order for your situation.
Child Support is handled through a special division of the County Court System called “Friend of the Court” (FOC). Once a child support order is entered in Michigan, the Court will order that the payments be automatically deducted from the paying parent’s paycheck. This is called income withholding.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Michigan? – Clinton Township, Macomb County Lawyer, Attorney
Generally, if the parties and their attorneys can reach a Child Support Agreement, the Court will approve it (unless there is some detriment to the child). But if the two parties cannot work out the terms of Child Support, the Court will make the child support determination for the parties.
The Michigan Child Support Formula is used by the Court to calculate the amount of child support that will be ordered. The main goal of this somewhat complicated formula is to make sure that children receive sufficient financial support – based upon the child’s needs and the resources of each parent.
The Michigan Child Support Formula is not just a simple chart. It is actually a very complicated set of calculations that take into consideration many different factors. This formula is adjusted every year to reflect changes in the cost of living.
The Michigan Child Support Formula considers such factors as:
- The actual number of overnights that the minor child(ren) spend with each parent;
- The income of each of the parents;
- Number of other minor children;
- Family size;
- Child care expenses, if any;
- Preexisting support orders (if any);
- Health Insurance premium expenses;
- Tax Status (including income tax deduction for the child(ren), etc.);
- Union dues and other mandatory employment expenses.
- Any other unique or special financial circumstances or obligations (medical needs or expenses; special tuition or educational needs or expenses, etc.)
And, to make calculating child support even more complicated, the Court may also “deviate” (not follow) the mandatory support guidelines under certain circumstances – where there are specific strict facts found by the Court.
Because the Michigan Child Support Formula is so complicated – including the fact that different factors are given different weight – it is impossible to try and “guess” at what your child support may be. An experienced child support lawyer is really the only person who will be able to analyze all of the factors that apply to your situation in order to help you determine the amount of child support that you will be likely to receive or pay.
If you have questions about the amount of child support that applies to your situation, we would be happy to offer you a free consultation with experienced Macomb County Child Support lawyer Justin Vande Vrede. He can look at your circumstances and let you know what is likely to be ordered in your case.
How Long Is Child Support Paid in Michigan? – Clinton Township, Macomb County Lawyer, Attorney
Once a support order has been entered, the Court retains authority until the child reaches the age of 18, or until the child graduates from high school, but not later than when the child reaches 19½ years of age.
However, parents may wish to arrange – either through a divorce or by other mutual agreement – other types of “support” for the child (such as college tuition or health insurance) that extend beyond age 18 or 19 ½ . While this is technically not considered “child support,” arrangement such as these are very common and can be established through other means by an experienced family law attorney.