What Should You Expect to Pay for Child Support in a Michigan Divorce?
Divorce is an expensive process, not necessarily because of legal fees, but because divorcing couples have to split all the assets they once shared, not to mention debts, and they have to go from a situation where two incomes support one household to a scenario where each party is supporting a household essentially on their own. Of course, the parent that gets primary custody of the children and/or earns significantly less money may be eligible for child support payments to help ensure that the needs of the children are met, no matter which household they’re in at any given time.
If you think there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay child support, you may be understandably eager to find out what that number will be so you can start planning your monthly budget to accommodate. Here’s what you need to know about how child support payments are calculated during a Michigan divorce.
Michigan Child Support Calculators
If you want to get a rough estimate going in, you can use an online calculator to get an idea. These tools will not provide you with a perfectly accurate number, but when you enter information about the number of children, income amounts, and expenses like daycare, insurance, and existing child support payments from previous relationships, for example, you could get a basic estimate of anticipated child support payments.
It’s important to keep in mind that these tools are designed to deliver a ballpark figure, and should not be treated as a set-in-stone number you can anticipate the court arriving at. The calculations for determining child support payments are complex and involve a range of factors, including the opinion of the court, which no calculator can determine.
The Michigan Child Support Formula
Michigan courts rely on a set of standards designed to help them determine appropriate child support orders based on a variety of factors. This formula considers information like both parents’ incomes, the number of children, how many overnights children have with each parent (i.e. the custody arrangement), the costs of childcare and healthcare, and more.
In most cases, court ordered child support must conform to the calculations made by using this formula, but judges have some amount of leeway to adjust payments for certain reasons. If, for example, they feel that the amount is somehow unfair or inappropriate, they can change it. They may also agree to a different amount if the parents come to an agreement on their own and present it to the court, but this requires the parents to file a Uniform Child Support Order Deviation Addendum.
What if You Feel the Order is Unfair?
The Michigan Child Support Formula is designed to come to a fair calculation about what each parent should be contributing in support of their children, but there are cases in which orders can be modified, say if the paying parent loses a job and legitimately cannot find work for a time, or if the paying parent ends up having a greater number of overnights, for example.
If you need help ensuring a fair arrangement when it comes to child custody and/or child support, contact the qualified professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 to learn more.
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