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Major changes were recently made to Michigan’s child support laws. These amendments could have a significant impact on how much a parent is required to pay in child support, so if you are considering a divorce and have children, you should speak with an experienced Birmingham family law attorney who can explain your obligations under the new laws.
In Michigan, child support is made up of payments for the cost of the:
Courts use a specific equation to determine how much is required to provide for the general care and needs of a couple’s child. This equation takes into consideration the family’s monthly income, which combines each parent’s net incomes, as well as the predetermined amount of base support per child contained in the General Care Support Table.
Once this total has been determined, the court will adjust the amount to account for how much time each parent spends with the child. This is based on a presumption that the more time a parent spends with a child, the more he or she will directly contribute to that child’s financial needs. For this reason, the court applies a Parental Time Offset Equation to adjust for how the cost of raising a child shifts when one or both parents spend time with the child.
Before a child support award can be ordered, the court will also take into account the child’s medical costs. Medical costs include the co-payments, deductibles, premiums, and uninsured medical-related costs incurred as a result of:
Each parent will be responsible for a percentage of these medical expenses based on their income.
Finally, childcare expenses will be calculated and added to the child support amount based on each parent’s percentage share of the family’s income. However, only childcare that allows a parent to look for or retain employment will qualify for coverage. The non-custodial parent is also not required to continue to pay childcare expenses after a child reaches the age of 12 years old, unless the court orders it based on the child’s health or safety needs. These costs will also likely fluctuate over time, so parents must notify each other immediately of changes in cost. This change will eventually be reflected in the child support award. Even when parents do not have an established pattern of childcare expenses, they can still collect child support to cover part of these costs if they can provide:
Family law matters are notoriously complex, especially in regards to child support issues. For this reason, having the advice of an attorney is crucial when it comes to child support matters, especially if one of the parties is unable or unwilling to pay. For help with your own child support questions, please contact a dedicated and compassionate Birmingham family law attorney at Iafrate & Salassa by calling (586) 263-1600 at your earliest convenience.