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Michigan Child Support Formula

Child Support in Michigan

Many clients are very concerned about their child support payments in Michigan.  How is child support calculated in Michigan? How much child support will I have to pay? How much with the other parent be ordered to pay in child support?

Child support in Michigan is determined by the Michigan Child Support Formula.  The child support formula takes several factors into account, but by far the two that have the biggest impact are each parties’ income and each parties’ overnight visits.  There are other factors that can cause adjustments, namely childcare costs, and insurance costs.  A party is eligible for childcare costs that are actually incurred until the child turn 12.  Judges in Michigan are bound to follow the child support guidelines, unless a party can convince the Judge that it would be unjust to follow the formula.  Absent an agreement of the parties, it is very rare that a party can do so. 

The formula also provides for ordinary and extraordinary medical expenses.  One part of the total support payment is designated for ordinary medical expenses.   These are things like co-pays, uninsured medical expenses, glasses, etc.  The law presumes that the custodial parent will spend a certain amount per child per year on these kinds of expenses, called “ordinary medical expenses.”  Once the custodial parent pays that amount, they can request a contribution from the payor of support for their contribution the extraordinary medical expenses.   If they refuse to pay, there are enforcement options available.

Each party is entitled to a review of child support every three years.  However, if there is a change in circumstances, either party can request a modification of child support in Michigan based on the change.  Examples of a change in circumstances can be a job loss or other reduction in income, a new job, a change in the parenting time schedule that would result in a different number of overnight visits, or something similar. 

If you have any child support questions or issues, please call our office right away to see if we can help you.  It can be tricky to navigate this area of law, and you want to be sure that your support payments for your child are calculated so that you aren’t overpaying or not receiving the amount of support your child is entitled to. 

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