Like the vast majority of states, Michigan has a Child Support Formula that, with some exceptions, the judges of this state are expected to follow.
But the fact this state has a set Formula for calculating child support does not mean that there are never disputes about how much support a parent should pay.
Indeed, there are many points in which parents may have serious disagreements with each other and will want the help of an attorney who has experience with child support.
Income is sometimes not easy to calculate, and it matters for child support
Each parent’s income is one of the major considerations when courts apply Michigan’s formula and calculate child support. However, calculating a parent’s income can be a difficult task.
For instance, it is simple enough to average a parent’s income when she is making a regular salary.
However, many people in the greater Detroit area make income from other sources. For example, a parent may be self-employed, or he may work on a commission or otherwise get paid irregularly.
It is also possible that a parent is receiving income from a source other than employment. Even some government benefits can count when it comes to calculating child support, as can regular or other gifts from friends and relatives.
In these cases, calculating income is not just a matter at looking at a paystub. The other parent and the court will have to examine financial documents carefully, especially if there is some hint that a parent is trying to hide his true income to avoid child support.
Some parents may have potential income imputed to them
A related issue is that some parents may be actually making a lot less income than they could be. They may, for example, be unemployed or underemployed by choice and not taking reasonable steps to find a new or additional job.
In other cases, a parent may simply be pursuing a job commensurate with her skills, education and training.
The other parent no doubt is often very frustrated by this situation. However, she can ask the court to calculate child support based on what the other parent could earn rather than what he is earning.