April 13, 2020

How Does Michigan Determine Child Support?

Establishing child support can be a daunting task. You want to ensure that your child’s needs are met, but you also want to protect your financial health. In the state of Michigan, courts use a formula to create a child support arrangement that takes your income, your child’s needs, and many other factors into account.

The Michigan Child Support Formula

Instead of taking each child support concern on a case-by-case basis, Michigan uses the Michigan Child Support Formula to calculate the amount of child support that will be paid. The factors considered in this calculation include:

  • The custody arrangement, including how many nights that the child will spend with each parent over the course of the year
  • Each parent’s income, including disability income, gambling earnings, spousal support and other forms of income
  • Each parent’s filing status
  • The number of children each parent supports
  • A child’s healthcare needs
  • The cost of child care or education

This formula is available to the public, allowing you to estimate what child support will be in your case.

Once your child support payments have been calculated through this formula, a Uniform Child Support Order will be issued. This legal document lays out the monthly payments that you or your child’s other parent will need to make. This amount can include or exclude the cost of health insurance.

Have things changed? Modifications are available.

If one or both parents find themselves in a new situation—whether they experience a job change, have an additional child in need of support or change to their life situation—the amount they pay in child support can be modified. Modifications can also be made if a child’s medical needs change or if parents want to modify their parenting time schedule. By petitioning the court to review their case, parents can have their child support payments recalculated.

Establishing child support can be emotionally difficult, especially if you are in the midst of divorce. However, it is possible to ensure that your order gives your child the financial support they need while also taking your financial situation into consideration.