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When a couple divorces, the court usually orders the non-custodial parent to provide financial support to the custodial parent for the care of the couple’s children. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement of which the court approves, then a judge will determine how much is owed in child support. Both parties will then be required to submit a variety of financial documents indicating their income and expenses. This process can be complex, especially if a family has multiple sources of income, so if you are going through a divorce and are attempting to demonstrate your income, you should retain a St. Clair Shores family law attorney who is well-versed in state law and will aggressively represent your interests.
In Michigan, child support payments include the costs of:
When attempting to determine how much of these expenses a parent should be required to pay, courts look at as series of factors, including:
Calculating income is one of the most important aspects of determining how much a person owes in child support. In figuring out how much a party makes, the court will assess a variety of documents, such as:
Based on this information, the court should be able to establish each party’s income, which is made up of: wages, tips, benefits, retirement funds, certain gifts, military pay, earnings from rental units, interest, and dividends. Once this amount has been confirmed, the court will deduct any eligible expenses, which will give it the family’s total monthly income. The state’s General Care Support Table will then be used to calculate the percentage of child support owed by each parent based on their income and the number of children. For example, if one parent’s income is $1,206 per month, 25.5 percent of that amount will be allocated for child support, which comes to around $307.53. The court will then adjust this amount based on how much time each parent spends with the child. In addition, each parent must pay at least 10 percent of a child’s medical expenses and work-related childcare costs.
In many cases, coming to an out-of-court agreement with an ex-spouse is the best way to ensure that each party is able to contribute what they can in child support without going through the stress of a trial. However, this is not always possible, which means that a court will be required to step in and create a child support order that it deems fair and equitable. To ensure that your interests are aggressively represented, whether in negotiations or the courtroom, please contact one of the experienced St. Clair Shores family law attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa by calling (586) 263-1600 today.
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