Child Support
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How Do We Determine Child Support?

One of the toughest questions you and your former partner may face is determining accurate child support amount. Michigan law requires both parents to support their children financially and in a manner that is in accordance with their financial means.

Child support is based on each parent’s finances and on the child’s current living arrangements. While the courts use strict standards to determine the amount of money your child should receive, there are exceptions. An experienced child support lawyer can review your and your former partner’s financial situation to make sure that your children receive the support they deserve. At Gordon & Hess, PLC, our highly experienced family law attorneys can help you.

What Factors Does The Family Court Use To Determine Our Child’s Support Amount?

The family court uses a mathematical algorithm required by law. The court looks at several factors, including:

  • Each parent’s net income
  • Each parent’s earning capacity
  • Each parent’s potential income
  • Existing living arrangement and child custody orders
  • Whether there are any child support arrangements from a previous marriage
  • Spousal support or alimony
  • Child care costs
  • Health care costs

Generally, the court will order child support payments, even if both parents share custody. The legal obligation for child support generally ends when a child reaches 18, unless the child has not completed high school and is still living with the custodial parent. For this situation, support payments are legally required until the child graduates high school or reaches 19½ years of age.

What Happens If I Need To Change The Child Support Order?

Child support can cover a range of expenses, including:

  • Medical care
  • Dental care
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Other needs

Child support payment amount may be updated when the child’s needs or the parent’s ability to pay changes. Parents’ rights include requesting to review the amount of child support when either parent’s financial circumstances change, there is a “significant change of circumstances,” or by law, every three years from the entry date of the last child support order.

Modifications to a child support order can be brought to the Court or through the Friend of the Court (FOC) office. Proof will need to be provided to show that a parent’s economic circumstances have changed. The FOC generally provides input for the Court through recommendation but only the Court may modify the order for child support.

If you have questions about child support, need help with enforcing child support orders or need a modification of child support, we can help you.

Contact Us For The Help You Need

Get accurate answers to these and any other family law questions you may have from an attorney with the experience and background to provide them. Our attorneys can help you understand the Michigan Child Support Guidelines better and run accurate calculations for you.

Please contact Gordon & Hess, PLC, in Grand Rapids and schedule a free consultation to discuss the family law issue you are or may be facing soon, and to discuss the best course of action and develop a winning game plan from the start. We can help you gather financial documents, review your and your spouse’s assets, and work closely with you to help your children receive the support they may deserve. Call us at 616-369-7452 or email us by completing our online form.