How do Michigan courts determine child support amount?

How do Michigan courts determine child support amount?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Child Support

In a Michigan divorce, common concerns regarding child support include determining the appropriate amount of support one parent should pay to the other, ensuring that the support is fair and meets the needs of the children.

If you want to know how courts establish appropriate child support amount in each case, here are some basic details you should know:

Using a standard formula

Michigan uses a formula called the Michigan Child Support Formula to calculate child support, which considers relevant factors, such as the following:

  • Parental income: The courts will look at the gross income of both parents. This includes income from employment, self-employment and other income sources.
  • Number of children: The number of children requiring support affects the calculation. The more children, the higher the percentage of income that the paying parent must provide for support.
  • Custody arrangement: The amount of time each parent spends with the child can affect the support calculation. Typically, if one parent has primary physical custody, the other parent (non-custodial) will pay support. In cases of joint custody, the amount of time each parent spends with the children will be factored into the calculation.

Other considerations may include healthcare and childcare expenses and other support obligations.

Formula deviations

The formula merely serves as a guideline to help to standardize child support calculations. This means that the courts can deviate from the formula in special circumstances. These special circumstances may include the child’s additional or special needs, the parent’s special needs and other similar considerations.

Child support is a complex aspect of divorce and it is normal to have several questions about the process and how you can maintain your expectations. In this case, it is highly advisable to consult with an attorney who is experienced in divorce and child support matters.