How is Child Support Calculated in Michigan?
Child Support in Michigan is based on the Michigan Child Support Formula. There is no "one size fits all" to child support as it is based on the individual circumstances of each family. This formula considers several factors in calculating support, we'll focus here on the biggest four factors, namely the number of overnights each parent has with the minor child(ren), the income of each parent, health insurance costs and daycare.
Number of Overnights: It is a common misconception that if parents have equal amounts of time with the children that child support will be set at zero, this is not true. Child support is designed to equalize out the living standards of the minor children in each household. So if one parent is a millionaire and one parent earns minimum wage, the children will not suffer while staying with the lower income parent. Only the number of overnights during a year count towards the support overnights, it does not include the days spent with a child during the day. There are 365 overnights in a typical year, so equal parenting time would be 182.5 overnights per parent in support calculations for equal parenting time. This can vary based on the parenting time schedule the parties have ordered.
Income of Each Parent: Income is also a major factor in child support. Income is usually based on the current average wages of each parent NOT a parent's new partner/spouse. The parent's income is calculated based on recent paystubs and sometimes a W2 from the prior tax year. For parents that are not working and have not been determined to be disabled, income can be "imputed". This means that their income is determined based on a reasonable wage for their skills and experience. This prevents a parent from quitting a job in order to pay less in child support.
Health Insurance: Health insurance also goes into the Michigan Child Support Formula. Health insurance is calculated as to the child support children's costs for insurance and can include vision and dental. This means that if a parent is paying a health insurance premium, an attorney can help determine the amount of that premium that should be attributed to the minor children involved in the case. The non-paying parent will then be responsible for a portion of those costs OR the paying parent will receive a "discount" on the amount of support they pay. See who pays medical bills for children.
Childcare: The Court will consider reasonable childcare costs necessary and appropriate for children under the age of 12. Childcare for each parent is considered during their individual parenting times. The higher income parent or the parent that has less parenting time may be required to pay a portion of the lower earning parent's childcare expenses. Who can provide childcare?
Other Factors: Special education or handicap expenses, bonus income, overtime income, public assistance, adoption subsidies, tax exemptions, tax filing status, waiving child support
Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation.269-381-4471