Personal Representation For Your
Family Law Or Criminal Defense Matter

How much flexibility parents have in child support amounts

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Divorce

In Michigan, statutory guidelines primarily govern the calculation of child support. The goal is to ensure fairness and financial stability for the child.

While these guidelines provide a framework, parents may still have a degree of flexibility in determining the specific amount of child support.

Basic guidelines

Michigan uses a formula that takes into account both parents’ incomes, parenting time arrangements and additional factors. The formula offers a standardized approach to support calculations, ensuring consistency across cases.

Income considerations

One key element in calculating child support is the income of both parents. The median household income in Grand Rapids is $61,634, but that can decrease after a divorce.

While the formula considers each parent’s income, parents may have some flexibility. For example, they might be able to make certain deductions and adjustments to the gross income, allowing them to consider specific circumstances.

Parenting time adjustment

Parenting time, or the amount of time each parent spends with the child, is another factor influencing child support amounts. In Michigan, parents may have some flexibility in negotiating parenting time arrangements, which can, in turn, impact the child support calculation. More parenting time for the noncustodial parent may lead to a reduction in child support obligations.

Additional expenses

Beyond basic child support, parents can discuss and agree upon support for additional expenses. This can include education, health care and extracurricular activities. This gives them flexibility in tailoring support to the child’s specific needs.

The role of agreements

Parents can reach agreements between themselves, giving them more control over the child support determination process. By collaboratively discussing their unique circumstances and needs, parents can develop a child support arrangement that reflects their specific situation, within the bounds of legal guidelines.

While Michigan has guidelines for calculating child support, parents have a degree of flexibility in shaping the final amount. This can allow them to customize child support to meet the specific needs of their child.

FindLaw Network
  • badge1-ppc
  • badge2-ppc
  • badge3-ppc
  • badge4-ppc
Photo Of Attorney Renee Lynn Wagenaar