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child support

Friday, March 22, 2019

What are Temporary Child Support Orders?


Parents are expected to support their child financially even though the parents may divorce or are not in a relationship with each other. Not being with a child’s other parent or not having primary care of the child does not relieve a person’s responsibility to care for the child. Some parents are taken by surprise when they show up to court, and the judge orders them to
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Will the Court Consider Non-overnight Parenting Time When Calculating Child Support?


Will the Court Consider Non-overnight Parenting Time When Calculating Child Support?

Typically in Michigan the court will only consider overnight parenting time when calculating child support.  This is because the Michigan Child Support Formula considers only the following specific factors: the income of the parties, health insurance provided by either parent for the children, child care or daycare expenses until August after a child's twelve birthday and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent.

However, in most cases it is worthwhile to check the guidelines manual (which is available online, just google it).  The manual provides a variety of reasons why a parent may ask the court to "deviate" from the guidelines.  The manual states that in cases where a lawyer can convince the court that the application of the formula to a particular case would lead to an unjust or inappropriate amount, the court may consider a list of other factors which would allow the court to order more or less child support than the formula mandates.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Is There a Statute of Limitations to Collect Alimony or Child Support?


Is There a Statute of Limitations to Collect Alimony or Child Support?

An action to enforce or collect child support or alimony is considered a civil action to enforce a court order.  There is a ten-year statutory period of limitations.  The ten-year period starts form the date that the last support payment is due under the support order regardless of whether or not the last payment is made.  For child support, generally, the date that the last payment is due is the child's 18th birthday.  For alimony, the final payment date would be the last date for which the court has ordered spousal support, unless it is extended, then the last date would be the final date of the extension.


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Are Bonuses Included In Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?


Are Bonuses Included in Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?

In Michigan, child support is calculated by use of a formula that takes into account each parent's income; the number of overnights each child has with each parent, health care premiums paid by a parent for the child, and childcare expenses until August after a child's twelfth (12th) birthday.  Alimony, also known as spousal support, should be determined by considering fourteen (14)  different factors.  The factors are overlapping so that income and ability to earn are referenced or are relevant to several of those factors.  Currently, most divorce lawyers, mediators and even the courts (due to a relatively recent change in the case law) use prognosticator programs to help determine at least a starting point for alimony and income is a primary factor in those formulas.

In any case, either through negotiation, mediation or trial, the determination of what constitutes the proper income for each party is very important and may have a significant effect on the ultimate award of support.


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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Can I Get Additional Child Support if My Child Attends Private School?


Can I Get Additional Child Support If My Child Attend Private School?

In Michigan, if parents of minor children separate (whether married or not) the court must determine child support based upon the child support formula.  Basically, the formula calculates support based upon each parent's income (as reported by the parent to the Friend of the Court), the number of overnights each parent has with the children, health insurance premiums paid by one parent for the children and work-related verifiable child-care expenses until August after a child's twelfth (12th) birthday.  If a parent is not represented by an attorney, this will be the end of the analysis.

However, an attorney that really knows family law should be able to help a client obtain more child support in certain situations based upon the circumstances of each case.  Divorce law, custody and support are very case specific and the outcome in each case may be determined by even a slight variation in the facts.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Can I Get More Child Support If My Child Has Special Needs?


 

In Michigan, child support is strictly determined by a formula by statute.  The statute requires the court to use a formula to calculate child support based upon the income of each parent and the number of overnights the children have with each parent.  The formula also provides an additional sum to the parent that has more overnights to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses and deductibles for the children and a credit to the parent that covers the children's health insurance.  Finally, for children under the age of twelve (12), the formula will reimburse a parent for a portion of his or her verifiable work related child care payments.  This is how basis child support is calculated by the Friend of the Court, without an attorney, these are really the only factors the court will consider in calculating child support.


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Friday, September 14, 2018

If We (the parents) Agree, Will the Court Order No Child Support?


If The Parents Agree, Will the Court Order No Child Support?

In Michigan, child support is determined by a formula.  This formula was created by the State legislature and according to statute, the court is to apply the formula in every case.  However, as always in the law, there are some exceptions.  Most of these exceptions can be easily found in the 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (If you are reading this after January 1, 2019, there should be an updated version, but most of the exceptions will remain the same).  

One of the exceptions is where the parties agree to deviate from the child support formula.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How Is Child Support Calculated in Michigan

HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATED IN MICHIGAN

This blog is the first in a series of blogs about child support in Michigan.  This first blog explains in a basic way how the family law court in Michigan calculates child support for people that are not represented by an attorney.  The remaining blogs in the series will explain the various ways that a good divorce lawyer may argue to increase or decrease the child support based upon the facts of the case.

 


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Monday, July 23, 2018

What if My Spouse Quits Working When I File for Divorce?


Divorce or separation are very emotional topics and can cause people to say any number of things which they may or may not mean.  One action often threatened is that a spouse will quit his or her job to avoid alimony, increase/decrease alimony or otherwise cause hardship to the spouse that wants out of the relationship if he or she files for divorce.  Conversely a spouse that is not employed outside of the home may threaten to refuse to seek any type of employment before, during or after a divorce.  This is actually a very bad idea, the loss of income will cause hardship on both parties in the short-term and it will be more damaging to the spouse that quits in the long-term.  The refusal to seek employment has a similar effect and can cause the person to actually receive less support than he or she actually should.


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Monday, May 14, 2018

Unpaid Child Support Never Goes Away


The Detroit News reported a case on May 8, 2018 that I found interesting (and a little amusing) as a divorce lawyer in Michigan.  The News reported that a man by the name of Joseph Stroup was arrested in Canada due to outstanding child support from a 1989 Grand Rapids case.  Mr. Stroup was hiding out in Canada under the false moniker "Joop Cousteau", not to be confused with Jacques.  Apparently the man fled the country after his divorce in an attempt to avoid meeting his child support obligations and was living under an assumed identity.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

How to Enforce Child Support

How Do I Enforce Child Support Orders?

Being awarded child support is helpful, but being able to collect it is even more beneficial. When the other parent refuses to pay child support, it can have a severe detrimental impact on you and your children.
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