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Michigan Family Law Blog

Friday, January 27, 2017

Failure to Report Income Fails in Michigan Child Support Case

In some divorce and post-divorce cases, one spouse or the other will underreport his or her income to the Friend of the Court (FOC)  in an attempt to avoid child support.  If an objection is not filed by one party, this may go unnoticed as the FOC is not really designed to investigate whether or not the documentation provided is full and accurate.  If one party objects then the FOC or the family law court will schedule a hearing and each side will present evidence.

This appears to be the situation in the matter of Thaxton v Thaxton, COA 327545, December 6, 2016 (unpublished), where the FOC recommended originally that the father pay the mother seventy-three ($73) dollars per month based upon tax returns provided by both parties.  The father hired an attorney and filed an objection.  Through diligent work of counsel and an accountant, the court learned that the wife underreported her income for the year in question by nearly one-hundred thousand ($100,000) dollars,  The result was that the mother was eventually ordered to pay the father nine-hundred ($900) dollars per month in child support.  In addition, the divorce court found the mother in contempt and ordered her to pay a significant portion of the father's attorney fees related to the underreported income.

If you are faced with a similar situation, your spouse is self-employed, your spouse receives significant "perks" or bonuses which may be difficult for the FOC to value,, or your spouse is otherwise not a typical "W-2" wage earner, please contact our team of experienced professionals to help you at 248.608.4123


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