As set forth by law, every child has a legal right to receive financial support from both parents. Child support is the court-ordered support a parent pays to assist with the cost of raising a child.
In Michigan, it is a judge who determines the child support payment with the use of an arithmetic algorithm – entitled the Michigan Child Support Formula. This stipulated formula typically accounts for a child’s general care and day-to-day needs. Medical coverage differs slightly, as each parent must pay a child’s medical expenses, based upon their comparative incomes.
Child support does not go on indefinitely. As such, it ends when the child turns 18 years old. However, it is important to note that a court has the ability to order support for a child who is between 18 and 19 ½ if:
- The child is in high school and lives full-time with the parent who receives child support
- The child is in high school and lives in an institution
Child support is typically a part of:
- A Paternity/Custody matter (when parents weren’t married)
- A Divorce matter
- A Child Support matter
A parent cannot circumvent child support payments by terminating:
- Their parental rights
- Their visitation rights
The reality is, parents can be ordered to pay child support after their parental rights have actually ended.
Child support orders are enforceable.
Enforcement methods include:
- Withholdings from the payer’s salary
- Placing a lien on the payer’s property
- Garnishing all levels of tax reimbursements
- Suspending a license to drive, including occupation and recreational licenses
If the arrearages (overdue payments) reach a predetermined level, the court can schedule a hearing to show cause. If the judge decides the payer can pay some portion or the entire amount owed, the payer can be held in contempt. Penalties for contempt may include the suspicion of a driver’s license, fines, jail time, among other penalties.
If you're looking for a qualified attorney to help you in your divorce or child support case, contact the team at Gerkin & Decker today. From family law to estate planning - we're there. Contact us here to schedule a consultation!