At Melissa Pearce & Associates, the well-being of children is our priority. From personal experience, we understand the difficulties children face when their parents divorce or separate. This is why we take special care to treat children with respect and empathy. First and foremost, by keeping them sheltered from the difficult conversations and decisions that go into a divorce or separation agreement. We believe parents want what is best for their children. Our goal is to work cooperatively with our clients to understand their unique circumstances. Transparency and education are key to us. We believe that when our clients understand what to expect, it makes an overwhelming process a bit less daunting. Trust our experienced Michigan child support attorneys to guide you through the process and fight for your parental and financial rights.
In Michigan, both parents are responsible for the financial needs of their child. These court-ordered payments are for the financial support of a child. Medical care and insurance, education, child care, or other expenses may influence the order of support. Typically, court-ordered child support is paid by a non-custodial parent to the parent with primary custody on a monthly basis.
Child support generally is ordered when parents are not living together. In some cases, children are supported by parents who were never married. For example, if a mother is the primary custodian of a child, but the father is not contributing financial support, the mother may bring a child support action to require the father to make monthly payments. The court may also order a paternity test before ordering child support, if fatherhood is in question.
In other cases, married parents decide to separate or divorce, which raises questions about how child support will be divided. A couple may agree on child support arrangements in their divorce or separation agreement, or a court may issue a child support order.
Michigan uses a formula to calculate how much child support a parent owes. Though the formula is somewhat complex, it generally considers each parent’s net income, after adjustments and deductions. It then factors how much parenting time each parent has. Parents with more parenting time tend to have higher costs, so the parent with less parenting time may need to contribute more for the arrangement to be fair.
Formulas regarding child support calculations are not always perfect. Each situation is unique, so sometimes the outcome of the child support formula unfairly disadvantages one parent over another. There are two ways to dispute the result of the formula.
First, both parents can agree on a different amount. If the parents can come to a separate agreement that is in the child’s best interest, the court may set aside the unfair result of the formula and honor the parents’ new agreement.
Second, if the parents do not agree on a different amount, the parent owing child support may petition the court to adjust the final child support amount. In this case, the court may consider the special circumstances of both the child and the parent.
Circumstances change over time. Parents may lose jobs, increase income, have additional children, or remarry; countless events could alter the prior agreement. Our experienced child support attorneys assist clients long after the order is issued. We work with our clients on post-judgment modifications because the emotional and financial well-being of our clients and their children are important to us.
Melissa Pearce & Associates has been serving southeast Michigan for over ten years. We know the child support process inside and out, and more importantly, we know how to fight for our clients’ parental and financial rights. Raising a child is one of the most important and challenging experiences in a person’s life. We believe in protecting the welfare of the children involved in family law matters, and we pride ourselves on our ability to counsel our clients on the best way to communicate and care for their children during these difficult times.
Trust us to fight for you. Contact us to schedule your pre-engagement meeting so we can learn more about your unique case.