The Michigan child support
formula is used to calculate how much a parent should
pay to support the children in the custody of the other
parent. This formula takes into consideration the income
of both the custodial and non-custodial parent.
Sometimes there are exceptions to the formula based upon
the specific facts of a case. Your lawyer can explain
the formula and can also tell you about possible
exceptions to the formula.
If a parent doesn't pay
court-ordered child support in Michigan, this can lead
to a contempt of court citation. Sometimes a parent may
receive a jail sentence for non-payment of support. In
some cases, a court will suspend the delinquent parent's
occupational or driver's license. An order providing for
immediate and automatic withholding of child support
payments from any source of the payer's income is
entered for every child support order paid through the
Friend of the Court, unless the court orders otherwise
or approves an agreement by the parties. The parties are
allowed to "opt-out" of the Friend of the Court system
if they wish, provided that no public assistance is
being paid or is owed to a state.
In Oakland and Macomb Counties, the Friend of the Court
will investigate and make recommendations about
child custody, parenting time, and
child support. The FOC will present a recommendation
and temporary order to the court for entry. Once that
order is entered, a party who disagrees with the
recommendation must file an objection within 21 days.
Then the court will schedule the case for mediation,
will schedule a status conference, and, if the parties
are unable to reach an agreement on their own, a referee
hearing will be scheduled. Because the procedures are
different in other counties, it's important to discuss
the court's expected procedure with your attorney.
Child support is usually based on a state-recommended
formula. It's a rare event that the court will find any
reason to deviate from the formula, however the state of
Michigan's economy has meant that some parents need to
relocate far away. It is not unusual for the courts to
approve a child support payment that deviates from the
formula in order to help the non-custodial parent
facilitate the parent-child relationships through use of
significant portions, if not all of the child support
that might be awarded simply to accommodate the travel
costs of exercising parenting time. Needless to say, the
new formula, effective in October 2008 takes into
consideration the percentage of parenting time spent
with each parent. At the end of the day, many parents
will agree upon little or no support in order to allow
the other parent to facilitate parenting time. As long
as both parents agree, the court will usually find this
in the children's best interests.
and child support is based on need and ability to pay.
The court may also take into consideration the
lifestyles of the parties. Any party contesting a
temporary order for child custody should become familiar
with the eleven specific best interests factors listed
in the Child Custody Act. A client should be prepared to
assist his or her lawyer in assembling the facts, the
witnesses, and the exhibits that will be used in a
hearing on a contested issue. You should schedule an
appointment with a temporary child custody lawyer to
discuss the procedures and preparations for a contested
The tax exemptions for the
minor children belong to the custodial parent ; however,
sometimes the parties may agree that the noncustodial
parent shall have some or all of the exemptions. Courts
will usually honor these contractual obligations. If the
judgment awards the exemptions to the noncustodial
parent, that parent must obtain a signed Form 8332 from
the custodial parent. That form is then filed with the
noncustodial parent's other federal income tax forms.
The child tax credit and the interest deduction and tax
credits for post-secondary education may be claimed by
the parent taking the dependency exemption. The
exemption waiver may be revoked.
Child support is modifiable
upon proof of a change in circumstances. A parent is
entitled to a child support review every three years.
Child support is usually ordered until the child attains
the age of eighteen years, or graduates from high
school, so long as the child has not yet reached
nineteen years and six months and regularly attends high
school on a full-time basis with a reasonable
expectation of completing sufficient credits to graduate
from high school while residing on a full-time basis
with the payee of support or at an institution.
Enforcement of child support payments may be sought by a
motion in the Family Court.
To schedule an initial meeting with family lawyer
Elizabeth Sadowski or just ask a question, call or send an e-mail
You will find fact-gathering questionnaires on this
website. Fill them out and mail them in to Ms.
Sadowski's office or schedule an appointment and bring
them with you.
Contact Rochester, Michigan divorce lawyer, Elizabeth
(248) 652-4000 Email:
elizabeth.sadowski [at] gmail.com
Family lawyer Elizabeth Sadowski
serves clients throughout northern Oakland and Macomb
Counties . © 2009 Elizabeth Sadowski
No fee referrals within
Michigan and/or to other states’ attorneys
consultation fee unless retained