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Does parenting time affect child support?

The short answer is YES. The number of overnight parenting days you have is one piece of the puzzle used when calculating child support.

Generally, the more overnights a parent has the less child support one pays. As you can see from the graph below, the closer one gets to 100 overnights the more dramatic the reduction in child support. The box below demonstrates how the increase in parenting time can affect child support. If you start with a $700 a month payment order after you reach 100 over nights the decline in the amount escalates.

child support parenting time offset
Courtesy of Michigan Child Support Manual

If the parenting time you have is alternate weekends and one day during the week; plus holidays; and weekends meaning pickup the child/ren on Friday and returning them on Sunday afternoon, your child support would be as high as it could be given your income. Your yearly overnights amount to less than 70.

So if the week day parenting time were to be an overnight you will have increased your overnights by 52. If the children are returned on Monday Morning for the weekend parenting time the increase would be an additional 26 overnights. These two changes in the overnight parenting time could change the overnights to 146 per year. This change could reduce that child support amount to almost half of what the child support would have been with the parenting time described in the first paragraph.

On the other hand child support does not go up if you don’t have any overnights. The base overnights of 70 or less overnights do not cause an increase in child support if you don’t use it. The court can order parenting time, but the court cannot force anyone to take parenting time. The court can order parenting time, reduce parenting time increase parenting time, and be very specific in parenting time, but cannot force one to take parenting time..

If you have more parenting time than your present order provides, it is possible to change the present order to one that takes into account the parenting time you presently have and reduce your child support.

If you are having issues with parenting time or child support, call our office today for a consultation at 269-381-4471.


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