Michigan Child Support Calculator
Michigan child support has many rules that that state has organized to help protect children. There are no doubts that children suffer the most in every divorce. It’s bad enough that they have to live with one of their parents; they do not deserve to starve or stop schooling too. Every child deserves financial and emotional support from both parents. This is the idea that inspired the child support program.
What is Child Support?
Michigan child support is the monetary support that a parent, who is not living with his/her child, pays to help meet the basic needs of the child. Some of these basic needs include shelter, dental and medical health care, food, insurance premiums, clothing, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
The support is usually ordered by the court and must be obeyed to the later as failure to obey child court ordered child support would land you some punishments or jail term in the worst case scenario.
Child support programs in every state are subject to the rules of IV-D.
What is IV-D?
IV-D (4-D) of the Social Security Act is responsible for the creation of the child support programs in the United States. IV-D is also responsible for formulating the rules governing every states’ child support program. This is why the child support program is sometimes referred to as the ‘IV-D program’ pronounced ‘four dee’.
Who Can Apply For Child Support?
In every child support program, there is the receiving parent and the paying parent. Like the words imply, one parent receives the money for the child’s upkeep while the other pays for the support.
This leads to an important question – who receives child support?
There are laid down principles guiding every child support program. In terms of the amount to be paid, there is usually a calculator used to calculate the percentage each parent should pay. But that is not the same for determining who receives child support.
To qualify for child support you must satisfy one or more of these options.
- Be a parent or guardian who is fully responsible for the minor child’s upkeep
- Be the parent or guardian the minor child lives with
- Bear the full financial responsibility for the minor child or
- The court ordered a child support payment to you
Only parents or guardians who satisfy one or more of these options are qualified to receive child support.
How Can I Apply For Child Support?
If you satisfy the rule(s) above, you are qualified to apply for child support. There are three options made available for the application for Michigan child support. These are;
- Through Paper Application: this requires you to visit the MDHS website at michigan.gov/dhs-forms and print the IV-D Child Support Services Application/Referral (DHS-1201). Upon completion, you are to submit the completed application or a written application to your local MDHHS office, Friend of the Court office, or Prosecuting Attorney’s office. You could also address the application to the official address of the Michigan Office of Child Support.
- Through Online Application: online application is also made available on the website: http://michigan.gov/michildsupport. Kindly visit the website and complete the online application there.
- Through Phone Calls: Another way to apply for child support is by calling the toll-free number: 866-540-0008 and requesting for the application form services.
What Is My Share Of The Child Support?
As I mentioned earlier, there are rules guiding the child support program of every state. Although they are a bit similar, each state has its own rules and regulations especially in terms of the formula for calculating child support. The amount to be paid as child support is calculated based on a few details like your income after tax deduction, the amount of time you spend with the child or children, and a few others. Therefore, it is almost impossible for both parents to pay an equal amount as child support.
Most of the counties in the United States such as California, Ohio, New York, and Michigan employ the ‘income shares model’ while a few others make use of the ‘percentage of income model’ or both or the Melson formula. For the topic of discussion, I will like to stick with the ‘income share model.’
The Income Share Model
The amount to be paid as child support is calculated from the income of both parents – the custodial parent and the non-custodial parent. The court combines both parents income to get the total monthly income. The court then runs a check on the economic table at the moment to determine the expected cost of raising the child or children. The amount arrived upon is then shared based on the percentage of the total monthly income that each parent holds. A parent, whether custodial or non-custodial, who earns more definitely hold a larger percentage of the total monthly income as such he/she is obligated to pay a greater percentage of the expected cost as child support.
What if one or both parents have a major decrease or increase in income?
The court requires both parents to report any substantial increase or decrease in their monthly income. This would help them review the terms, in this case, the amount to be paid as child support. Note that there is a certain amount that is required for the child’s upkeep. The court may ask for some additional requirement if the new amount to be paid for child support is lower than the recommended amount.
What Do I Stand to Risk If I Fail to comply with the Court’s Child Support Order?
Failure to comply with the child court ordered child support comes with grave consequences. According to law, it is called contempt and the court could hold you in contempt should the other parent report to the court. This could land you several punishments including but not limited to fine payment, immediate income withholding, freezing of bank account, passport denial and suspension, arrest, and jail time.
What happens if I leave the state?
The Michigan child support laws bind you irrespective of your current state of residence. The states share a certain level of agreement that makes it possible to enforce the child support laws in any state. So, relocating to any other state from Michigan doesn’t let you off the hook. Nice try.
Am I obligated to pay child support if I have joint custody?
The amount of time you spend with the child or children is just a fraction of the equation. Spending equal time with the child doesn’t let you off the hook. The same applies to having joint custody.
How Long Does Payment For Child Support Last?
Generally, parents stop paying child support on the last day of the month that the child turns 18 years of age. But there is an exception to this rule. The Michigan child support can spill over the 18th year birthday under these conditions:
- The child is disabled.
- The child is still in high school.
If the child happens to be in any of the conditions listed above, you can request an extension of child support from the Friend of the Court office.
Do I stop paying child support if the custodial parent denies me of spending time with the child?
These are two different cases with different orders and enforcement from the court. Custodial parent denying you of parenting time has no relationship with the child support payment. You could ask for a hearing from the court based on denial of parenting time but that doesn’t permit you to stop paying child support. For additional questions, you can always reach out to an attorney to get clarification on your rights.