There has been a vast amount of people that have called me completely confused about the Michigan Child Support Formula. Luckily, thanks to this age of technology, the Courts have made it easier and easier for people to access the formula and input their specific information to get a general idea of their potential child support obligation. Moreover, what their child support award might be or what they can be anticipate happening in their child support case. However, the Child Support Formula is extremely complex and most times will need an experienced family law attorney to assess the calculation. A full analysis of the recommended calculation should be performed in every child support case to be completely sure that all the details of your financials are accounted for in your child support calculation.
The number of persons that have inquired with me as to whether they are able to forgo paying or opt-out of receiving child support is great. There are many times when a client is under the impression that if they are in a certain set of circumstances, they are under no obligation to pay or have no right to receive child support. A common example of this is when the intended payor of child support believes that because the intended payee is not using the money for items specific to the child’s immediate wants and needs such as, clothing, shoes, toys, school supplies, etc.; they should be allowed to buy those items instead of having to pay their ordered support obligation. Another example that comes up very often is when the intended payor believes they should no longer have to pay any support to the intended payee since they spend a substantially similar amount of time with their child as the payee. In both situations, and in many others, support is most often still required to be paid by the payor.
It can be very frustrating to hear this information for many payors that feel that their support obligation is inflated, it is unfair, or that the support they are paying is not being used for the benefit of their children. Unfortunately, the Michigan Child Support Formula has been codified into Michigan Statute, it is the law, and no matter how unfair it may seem there is no way around it. Child support is an agreement between you are your child. While it may not seem that way because the payee is (usually) the other parent and it feels as though they are the recipient of the monies you are paying, the truth is, the child is the recipient. The Court acts as the liaison between your child and you. Since your child cannot enter into a contract as a minor, the Court make sure that the support they are entitled to under the law is provided. The Court steps into the shoes of your child and decides that it is in the benefit of your child to receive the support. Therefore, if they had the capacity to enter into a contract, they would, but since they cannot, the Court will do it for them.
The Michigan Child Support Formula must be calculated in every domestic matter. Quite often, the numbers are what they are. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that an accurate calculation considering the entire formula is run before the Child Support Order is entered and begins cycling against the payor.
There are cases that the Michigan Child Support Formula allows for deviations from the calculations, as well as consent agreements that can be entered into between the payor and the payee if the deviation or agreements are still in the best interests of the minor children and comport with the laws of the family court system. To determine if your case meets this test, you should absolutely meet with an experienced family law attorney to fully understand your child support case.
Is there anything that can be done if you truly believe that the monies you are paying toward your child support obligation are not being used for the benefit of your child or children? The short answer is, yes, something can be done to determine what your child support payments are going toward in certain circumstances. The best way to find out whether your case would be granted this type of consideration is to meet with your family law attorney and discuss what leads you to believe that your child support payments are being misappropriated. If you are confused about your child support case, need a modification to your child support order, would like for your child support calculation to be reviewed, or have any questions relating to your new or ongoing support obligation, please do not hesitate to call our family law attorney and schedule your free consultation. Let’s see what we can do for you!