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Michigan Family Law Blog

Monday, May 13, 2019

After a Divorce, Who Pays for Child Care?

In Michigan, child care is included in child support until the first August after a child's twelfth birthday.  After that, the parties can agree to share the costs of child care or each parent will be responsible for paying for child care that is required during that parent's court ordered parenting time with the child.  

How Much Does Each Party Pay Toward Child Care?

There are four basic components of child support.  There is the base child support, which is determined primarily by the incomes of each parent and the number of overnights the children have with each parent.  There are also three supplements; the healthcare supplement, the ordinary medical care supplement and the child care supplement. 

The intent of the health care supplement is to have each parent share the costs of the health insurance for the children based upon his or her income compared to the overall combined incomes of both parties.  The parent that pays for the children's health care will receive either an addition or subtraction from the base child support payment.  The amount of the supplement is based upon a percent of the actual monthly cost of the health insurance to the paying parent.  The percent is determined by taking both parties incomes and figuring out each parties' percent of the overall income.  For instance, if one parent is making seventy thousand ($70,000) dollars and the other parent thirty thousand ($30,000) dollars, then the percentages would be seventy (70%) percent and thirty (30%) percent.  T

The ordinary medical supplement is intended to have each parent pay for his or her share of the uncovered health care expenses up to a certain dollar level that changes from year to year.  Uncovered health care expenses are things like deductibles, co-pays and other similar expenses, but not band aids or over-the-counter medications.  The dollar amount is based upon national data that projects the average yearly out-of-pocket medical expenses for a child.  Then the parent that is paying support will pay a percent (determined the same way as above) of this set dollar amount over the year.  If the parent receiving the supplement pays expenses beyond that set average yearly cost/dollar amount, then the parents share the expenses above that amount based upon the same percentages as the health insurance supplement above.

Finally, the intent of the child care supplement is to have each parent pay for his or her share of the child care costs.  The amount of the supplement is determined by taking the parties' actual average monthly cost of child care and then using the same percent as above to determine each parent's share.  The difference in child care costs that exist between summer and the school year are taken into account by averaging out the entire year.  Camps and other substitutions for time that children would otherwise be enrolled in child care are included in this determination.  Then the court again applies the same percentages to this average monthly amount which is added to the base child support amount.  The recipient of the child support is then responsible to pay the child care provider.

Working With a Child Support Attorney in Oakland County, Michigan

When you work with a good divorce attorney, that lawyer will know the various components of child support as well as the child support manual which is essential in handling custody, parenting time and support cases.  Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and provide the appropriate level of help you need to get you through your situation.  If you have any questions regarding these issues, please contact Cameron C. Goulding by phone at (248) 608-4123, email at cathy@camerongoulding.com or through the website NorthOaklandMichiganDivorceLawyer.com.  


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