Making certain that your children receive the appropriate amount of child support at various points in their lives is a top priority for most parents. However, balancing that with a parent's fluctuations in income and wealth accumulation or major changes in a child's or parent's health is also important.
A judge would have to issue an order that obligates a parent to pay child support, either in the course of a divorce, during a paternity action or when two parents who never married have children together. If a judge has not ordered a parent to pay child support, there is no legal obligation for that parent to do so. Call us at 586-257-2692 for help in obtaining an order to pay child support or enforcing an existing order.
Seek A Lawyer's Advice When Determining A Child Support Obligation
Determining child support under the Michigan guidelines starts by determining each parent's income based upon the income reported on the tax return. In addition to income, the judge will also take into consideration other factors such as:
- Custody and parenting time arrangements
- Child care expenses and who pays them
- Educational expenses
- Health insurance costs, out-of-pocket expenses, and special needs medical care costs
- Wealth accumulated by a parent and other income producing assets such as a business or professional practice owned by a parent
At Garton & Vogt, P.C., we have over two decades of experience helping our clients determine fair child support under the Michigan child support guidelines. When necessary, we partner with a network of experts, including investigators and forensic accountants, to document the amount of a request for a child support order in court.
The judge is not bound by a set formula, as the guidelines are just that — guidelines from which the judge can deviate if he so determines. The judge will consider what is in the best interests of the children when determining the amount of support. The judge can also request a significant amount of financial evidence from either party, which in some situations is specifically aimed at a parent who may be hiding assets or transferring them overseas.
Enforcement And Modification Of Child Support
Sometimes parents' circumstances change and modification of an existing child support order is necessary. At Garton & Vogt, P.C., we can help. We regularly represent parents in child support modification hearings, helping them increase or decrease child support payments as necessary.
We also represent clients in child support enforcement actions, offering experienced legal counsel in situations where child support has gone unpaid — or is alleged to be unpaid. We have the resources to take legal action, like having a lien placed on a payer's property.
To talk to us about your child support needs, contact Garton & Vogt, P.C., by calling 586-257-2692. We have an established reputation for excellence in Michigan family law and can help you.