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Michigan Child Support
Child Support in Michigan
The Child Support Formula guides the court and it is presumed correct unless demonstrated to be unjust or inappropriate, but either parent may be ordered to provide a "just and proper amount of child support." This formula is contained in Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated, Section 552.519.
Medical costs, schooling fees, and day care expenses incurred while the legal custodian works may also be included in expenses considered basic necessities.
Michigan child support is typically calculated by using a Child Support Worksheet. The worksheet generates an appropriate Michigan child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other factors, such as taxes paid and retirement contributions. Additional information about Michigan child support is located here.
One or both parents must pay for the medical insurance, dental care, childcare and education of the children. The supporting parent may be required to put a bond guaranteeing support. Support is paid to the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau, and both parents must keep the bureau informed other status.
Child support is defined in Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated; Sections 552.15, 552.16, 552.452, and 552.519.
Michigan uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent must pay. The Income Shares Model estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. Using the Michigan child support worksheet easily does this. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.
This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.
If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.
Michigan guidelines are presumed to be correct unless there is a showing that the amount would be unjust, inappropriate, or not in the best interests of the child under the particular circumstances in a case.
Other Expenses and Deductions
Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare and extraordinary medical expenses are considered mandatory deductions.
Child Support Enforcement
A parent more than 30 days behind in his or her support may find enforcement action against him or her brought by a Friend of the Court. A deadbeat's state and federal income tax refunds may be intercepted and liens brought to his or her house or personal property. The parent tardy with support may have his or her license to drive suspended or brought to court to explain failure to pay.
More information about Michigan Child Support Enforcement can be found at their website.
Child support must be paid until the child graduates from high school or turns 18, whichever occurs later. The support does not continue once the child reaches 19 and 1/2 even if the child is still in high school.
Once an amount is determined it is essential to take a look at any appropriate Michigan child support deviation factors that may be applicable to the situation.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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