3 Myths About Child Support in Michigan
There are plenty of horror stories floating around the internet about paying child support.
However, many of the most extreme cases that are used to frighten people going through separations are either exaggerations or complete fabrications. It’s difficult enough to go through a divorce, and lies and misinformation regarding child support only exponentially increase your stress.
On the other hand, it’s important to be informed about child support scenarios that are actually likely to occur in your life, so we’re not suggesting that you stop doing research. Instead, read on for accurate, fact-checked information about 3 of the most common child support myths out there.
Myth 1: If You Don’t Have Visitation Rights, You Don’t Have to Pay Child Support
There are several websites and message boards online that claim that those who do not have child visitation rights do not have to pay child support. This claim, however, is false. Under Michigan law, child support and parenting time are considered to be separate issues, the outcome of one of which does not affect the other.
This distinction means that those who do not have visitation rights may still have to pay child support and that one parent cannot legally violate a visitation agreement just because the other parent has not paid child support.
Because these two matters are clearly differentiated, they are dealt with separately and have different repercussions.
Myth 2: Joint Custody Means No One Has to Pay Child Support
Many divorcing couples seeking joint custody of their children may believe that each will simply pay for half of the child’s expenses without any child support exchanged in a legal sense.
However, this is not necessarily the case. Joint custody can be split right down the middle, but it can also be split up in a number of different ways, which might not result in each parent getting exactly 50% of their child’s time.
This variability is why, in cases wherein each parent receives full custody of one of their children, it might make sense to most people that each parent should pay for the child they are raising, again with no child support exchanged.
However, when determining each parent’s financial responsibilities regarding the child, there are many factors to consider beyond the time each parent spends with the child.
When calculating child support, the number of children and with whom they are placed only represent two of the factors considered under Michigan law. Child support is also calculated based on the incomes of both parents or their potential incomes.
Myth 3: I Get to Know How Child Support Dollars Are Spent by My Ex-Spouse
It doesn’t take long to run across many stories online about angry parents discovering that their child’s support has been spent on frivolous items meant for use by the receiving parent rather than the child.
These stories have led to a serious misconception about child support, which is the idea that there is a law guaranteeing a parent the right to know where their child support is being spent and what is being spent.
This law does not exist, and attempting to harass child support recipients about where the child support is going can lead to criminal charges. If you or someone you know in the Metro-Detroit area needs legal advice concerning child support, alimony, or any other divorce-related matter, call Gucciardo Family Law today
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