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Can I Waive Child Support in Michigan?

In every divorce or custody case, a decision must be made about child support and this is part of every final Court Order, whether it be a Judgment of Divorce or a Judgment of Custody/Paternity. A Uniform Child Support Order must be entered in each type of case. If the parties have agreed NOT to follow the Michigan Child Support Formula, a Deviation Addendum must be also entered in the case explaining why the parent waiving child support believes it is appropriate to deny their child(ren) support from the other parent.

What is Child Support supposed to pay for? Child support is designed to equalize out the living standards in each parent's household. This means that the child will have the same living conditions whether they are living with the parent with higher income or the parent with lower income. Child support does not necessarily go directly towards the child's individual expenses but can also cover shelter, food, health care, childcare and clothing.

What if I am receiving public assistance? If you are receiving public assistance that is funded by the State of Michigan's taxpayers, such as food assistance, medicaid, WIC, etc., a parent CANNOT waive child support. This is because part of the childcare amounts will go towards repaying the taxpayers for the benefits the child is receiving from the State.

What if my ex refuses to pay? A parent will not have a choice about paying child support and the Court will order it. If a parent does not pay and arrearages build up too far, eventually, a warrant will be issued for their arrest.

I don't need child support, can I just waive it? I encourage every parent to carefully consider why they would waive child support. Child support belongs to your child(ren) and should go towards improving their lives. If you really don't want support, you can always open up a College Savings Account with the money for your child's future.

What is a good reason to waive child support? On rare occasions, child support can be waived by filling out a Deviation Addendum. Reasons to deviate can vary, however, they must be approved by the local Friend of the Court and Prosecuting Attorney. These reasons may include one parent receiving a larger share of marital assets in a divorce, one parent paying for another expense for a child in lieu of child support or the support amount being so low that it is not feasible for the Court to administer the amount.

Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation. 269-381-4471


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