Child support in Michigan is set according to a formula. It is important to understand how the formula works in order to insure that the child support payment calculations are based on accurate financial information.
I bring more than 35 years of experience as a child support lawyer in Michigan and work closely with clients to provide them with advice and services tailored to their circumstances. I am familiar with all aspects of the child support formula and will work to help the court determine the fair and appropriate level of support.
DETROIT AND ROYAL OAK-AREA CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT ATTORNEY
Michigan’s child support formula looks at a number of factors to determine the fair and proper amount of child support, including:
The formula is simple but its application becomes more complicated when one of both parents are self-employed, unemployed, employed on a part-time basis or have variable income due to overtime pay, bonuses and other compensation.
OVERNIGHTS IMPACT WHAT A PARENT WILL PAY FOR CHILD SUPPORT
One of the factors considered in determining child support is the number of overnights each parent has with the child. This is an issue that can potentially complicate custody and parenting time negotiations as parents strive to reduce the amount they pay or increase the amount they are paid. However, custody and parenting time should be about what is best for children, not what is best for the bottom line. With that in mind it is important to establish custody and parenting time independently from child support concerns.
For couples who no longer wish to be joined financially or share a household, but do not wish to go through a divorce, there is a legal option available. While there is no concept of “legal separation” in Michigan, separate maintenance allows husbands and wives to unwind their finances and gain a sense of independence while maintaining their legal marriage.
SEPARATION AGREEMENT ATTORNEY FOR ROYAL OAK, DETROIT AND SURROUNDING AREA
I have dedicated my career as a lawyer to helping couples resolve these important issues and have extensive experience with separate maintenance. I work collaboratively to arrange a temporary or long-term separation by making appropriate and fair financial arrangements to allow them to maintain separate households. In some cases, actually dividing property and establishing child support or spousal support can also be accomplished through separate maintenance.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEPARATE MAINTENANCE AND DIVORCE
Separate maintenance mirrors divorce in terms of procedures for support and property division but does have some important distinctions. After receiving a judgment of separate maintenance the parties are still legally married. This is important because of the effect it has on issues such as inheritance and Social Security benefits.
REASONS FOR SEPARATE MAINTENANCE
Why not divorce? For many, the thought of getting a divorce is uncomfortable for religious reasons. Before insurance companies began changing their rules, many couples remained married in order to qualify for health insurance on their on their spouse’s policy, although cutbacks in health insurance has made it difficult or impossible to achieve this goal long-term through the mechanism of separate maintenance. One of the most common reasons people pursue separate maintenance today is to protect their finances within their marriage when a spouse is being reckless financially.
As family dynamics and the needs of children change over time, the need may arise to modify the divorce Judgment to ensure that it continues to protect the children’s best interests. If a significant change in circumstances has occurred since the last order was entered, a party may file to modify custody or parenting time. If the parties agree to a change in parenting time or custody, I can prepare a written order for both parties to sign, which the Judge will most often approve.
DETROIT AND ROYAL OAK-AREA SUPPORT MODIFICATION LAWYER
I have been a family law attorney for more than 35 years and am skilled at helping parties pursue their rights through modification of divorce judgments. When parties agree to a change in custody or parenting time, I can help prepare a written order which the judge will most often approve, keeping attorney fees to a minimum. Where there is disagreement between the parties, I can facilitate cooperation and lay the groundwork for a successful outcome for my client.
IS YOUR SITUATION ELIGIBLE FOR MODIFICATION?
Issues pertaining to children are allowed to be revisited in Michigan due to the expectation that factors such as child care costs, health care expenses and other needs of the child will change between the divorce and a child reaching adulthood. However, there is a threshold of proof that must be crossed by the parent seeking modification.
If there has been a significant change in circumstances since the time of your divorce, including changes in incomes of the parties, you may be eligible to have the court revisit these issues and order a change in the court order. Other factors, such as whether there is an Established Custodial Environment for the child, can have a significant impact in how the court will rule.