Children in Detroit are entitled to support from their natural parents or adoptive parents. Generally, the issue of the amount of child support is referred to the Friend of the Court. The Michigan Friend of the Court Act requires the Friend of the Court in MI to investigate all relevant facts to make a written report and recommendation to the parties, their attorney’s and to the circuit court judge, when there are disputes in custody, parenting time, and support. The Court then receives the recommendation from the Friend of the Court. The Michigan Circuit Court judge is not bound by the findings or recommendations of the Friend of the Court and may make his or her (the judge) ruling independent of that recommendation, but most often the recommendation is followed.
In Michigan, the amount of child support awarded is governed by a specific formula. This formula requires that a shared economic formula should be used to calculate the amount to be paid. Although sometimes there are deviations from the formula, it is based upon a number of enumerated factors, including:
- The combined gross incomes of the parents, with adjustments for prior support and support of subsequent families
- The number of children in each parent’s home
- Health care, childcare, and other expenses
- Parenting time schedule (allocation)
- Special needs of children may be considered
Michigan courts outline that both parents are responsible for child support, but in most cases the non-custodial parent, or parent who spends less time with the children, is the one who pays child support. Laws in this state assume the custodial parent, or parent who has the children most of the time, already spends the required amount of money needed for their care and upbringing.
As indicated, the amount of child support payments is based on a set of guidelines that are used to help meet the child’s mental, physical, and educational needs while also taking the parents’ finances into account. However, if there is evidence that the amount of child support is not fair, deviation from the guidelines might be warranted.
Income verification, computations, basic support obligations, parenting time credits, post-secondary education worksheets and other parameters can make figuring out child support an overwhelming process.
If you are involved in a child support dispute, and need to seek experienced legal advice regarding child support or other family law issues, please call our office to schedule a confidential legal consultation by calling (248) 281-6299.
Our child support and custody attorneys handle all aspects of child support, including the initial support award and child support modifications. Once child support is ordered, it is normally required to be paid until the child turns eighteen or graduates from high school. Our attorneys have significant experience dealing with the enforcement of child support orders and are familiar with the Michigan Criminal Laws for the Enforcement of Child Support and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.