As a divorced Michigan parent, you either pay or receive child support. CustodyXchange.com explains that Michigan law requires courts to issue child support orders in all cases involving custody issues of children under the age of 18 or still in high school.
The amount of child support you pay or receive depends on two basic factors: the amount of your net income in comparison to that of your former spouse and the amount of parenting time you spend with your children.
Net income calculation
Michigan calculates the child support basis by first adding the net monthly incomes you and your former spouse earn. Then it calculates each parent’s proportional share of this combined child support obligation.
For instance, suppose you have a net monthly income of $4,000 and your former spouse’s net monthly income is $6,000. This adds to $10,000, of which the two of you provide 40% and 60% respectively.
Parenting time calculation
Your parenting time agreement then comes into play. In general, the fewer overnights your children spend at your former spouse’s home, the greater the child support amount he or she will make to you.
The court has discretion to deviate from this basic child support formula whenever special circumstances dictate. For instance, if one of your children has special needs, the judge likely will order more than “normal” child support. In addition, should you and your former spouse later modify your parenting plan as your children get older, a modified child support order likely will follow.
Child support represents a legal obligation. Consequently, if you pay child support, you must pay it regardless of whether or not your former spouse abides by the parenting plan. Conversely, if you receive child support, you must abide by the parenting plan even if your former spouse becomes delinquent in child support payments.