When parents legally separate or divorce in Michigan, the non-custodial parent is often ordered by the court to pay child support. This money helps to support children involved in a divorce in an attempt to minimize any financial devastation that may occur as a result of the divorce. Michigan uses the income shares model when determining how much child support will be ordered. This model stems from the idea that children should receive the same amount of financial support that they would have received had their parents stayed together. The gross income of both parents is calculated into the final child support order.
In addition to each parents' gross income, other factors are often considered when determining child support. According to the Michigan Child Support Formula, child support involves the cost for medical support of the child, general care, child care expenses and any other needs the child may have. In some cases, extra funds will be added for certain educational needs and traveling expenses as well. Other factors that may be considered include the following:
- Whether the parent is a minor.
- If either parent is incarcerated.
- The child has extraordinary needs, such as a physical or mental disability.
- A parent is making payments to the court for a bankruptcy or other fines and fees.
Since every divorce situation involves unique circumstances, the judge presiding over the case will often use his or her discretion before making a decision on the final child support payment. Life circumstances may also change and the child support amount may be modified to accommodate certain issues that may come up.
To learn more about divorce and calculating payments, visit our page on child support.