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Michigan Family Law Blog

Who Pays for the Child's Braces After a Divorce in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Apr 11, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

There are many issues in any divorce case including the division of property, division of debt, alimony or spousal support and in cases where there are minor children there is custody, parenting time and child support.  This blog is intended to broadly address the issue of which parent should pay for the costs associated with orthodontia for the child.  If you have any questions regarding your particular situation, you should contact us to schedule a consultation either online by clicking this link or calling (248) 608-4123.

First a brief explanation of the Michigan Child Support Formula is required.  The formula will take into account how many overnights the child has with each parent, each parent's overall income, the premium paid by either parent to provide health care for the child and child care expenses (where applicable).  The formula will then calculate a base child support amount, a health care supplement amount, a childcare supplement amount (where applicable) and an ordinary health care cost supplement.  The ordinary health care cost supplement is intended to pay for ordinary out-of-pocket health care costs for the child such as deductibles for doctor visits or prescribed medication.  The parent that receives the health care cost supplement is responsible for paying the first $454 of such expenses for each child per year.  Finally, the formula will provide a percentage that each parent is responsible to pay for health care costs that exceed the $454 per year.  That is referred to for the purposes of this blog as the extraordinary health care costs percent.

Who is Responsible for Paying for Braces for the Child in Michigan?

This question largely depends on where you live in Michigan and which judge has been assigned to the case.  If there is no agreement between the parties as to how the costs of orthodontics should be paid, then one party will have to file a motion and the decision will be up to the judge.  Once a motion is filed, the judge will schedule a hearing where the judge must first determine whether or not it is reasonably When children are involved, child support in Michigan is determined by the Michigan Child Support Formula.   The formula will take into account how many overnights the child has with each parent, each parent's overall income and the expense incurred by either parent in providing health care and child support. for the orthodontics based upon all of the facts.  In most cases in Oakland County it has been my experience that the judges will find that the braces or other orthodontics are reasonably necessary and will order that the child will get the braces.

Once the court has determined that the orthodontia is required, then determining payment is relatively simply.  To use an example, say that the parent receiving the ordinary health care supplement has not paid for any out-of-pocket health care expenses for the child for the year, the orthodontics will cost $1,454, and the extraordinary health care costs percent is 40/60 (with the recipient of the ordinary health care supplement paying 40% and the payor 60%).  The recipient would pay the first $454 of the braces and $400 of the remaining $1,000.  If the recipient had already paid for at least $454 of ordinary health care expenses for the child for the year, then the parties would divide the entire $1,454 with the recipient paying 40% ( $582) and the other parent paying 60% ($872). 

Of course every case is individual and unique, if you have questions regarding your situation, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation by clicking on this link or by calling us at (248) 608-4123.        

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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