Child Support

Child Support Lawyers Representing Your Concerns

At The Smith Law Offices, P.C., we offer focused representation to people throughout southeast Michigan, including men and women involved in child support disputes. Our child support lawyers are committed to your success, and we will take the time to listen closely so that we can identify all potential issues and challenges and can put together an effective strategy to get the outcome you want. We believe that the most effective way to build a strong attorney-client relationship is through face-to-face communication. We keep our firm small so that we can devote more of our time to each case we handle.

Because of our reputation for extensive knowledge, strong listening skills and a dedication to meet the needs of our clients, many of our new child support cases come to us as referrals.

When Do I Need an Attorney in a Child Support Matter?

In Michigan, as in other states, child support is calculated using state guidelines. The formula includes the incomes of both the custodial and noncustodial parent, as well as other costs such as daycare, health insurance, and unreimbursed medical expenses. This can all be found in the state guidelines book – Michigan Child Support Formula. 

Several factors contribute to your child support payment in Michigan. First, they evaluate your income. This is not just the yearly amount you receive from your full-time job but considers things like inheritances and gifts, annual variations in income, allowable deductions from pay, children from other relationships, and if you meet any low-income thresholds. 

Based on your income, they will then calculate your child support obligations and base support obligations. This will take your income into account with expenses and other factors from your life and the child’s life. Child support obligations include things like parenting time, medical expenses, and childcare expenses. After all factors are calculated, there is a formula that is used to calculate child support in Michigan: 

{A + [B x (C – D)]} x E = G 

A = Base Support (General Care Support table, column 3) 

B = Marginal Percentage (General Care Support table, column 4) 

C = Monthly Net Family Income (§3.02(B)(1)) 

D = Monthly Income Level (General Care Support table, first column) 

E = Parent’s Percentage Share of Family Income (§3.02(B)(1)) 

G = Base Support obligation using the General Care Equation (round to the nearest whole dollar)

In order to calculate this correctly and estimate the amount of child support needed in these type of cases, an attorney is needed. They will also assist you with preparing court documents, keeping things organized, informing you of all of your options at every stage, and making sure there are no surprises. We understand that in dealing with family, it can get emotional. We assist in child support matters by being your support through it all. 

How Can An Attorney Help if Child Support Payments are Disputed?

Failure to pay child support is a criminal offense. A child support payment dispute is when a change needs to be made in the amount of support paid. Additionally, when one parent refuses to pay child support, a dispute may be filed. When you hire us to help you with a child support disagreement, we will carefully review all proposed or existing orders for compliance with Michigan’s standards. We will also investigate your ex-spouse’s financial situation so that we can verify all sources of income and make certain that they are included in the calculation. This includes self-employment income, seasonal income, and commission-based income.

A court will examine evidence such as how long the payments have been neglected and for what reasons. There may be valid reasons, such as a loss of income. If you have not been receiving payments and are struggling to pay for your child, we will help walk you through your options for taking legal action and what to keep track of moving forward. 

We will work with you at any stage of a child support dispute, whether your divorce was recently filed and you need to establish temporary arrangements or your divorce is final and you need assistance in proceedings to modify or enforce a final divorce decree.

We handle paternity disputes and child support issues that can arise based on the court’s determination. We can also help you seek deviation from the state guidelines when appropriate.

Can I Request a Modification of Child Support Payments?

It is important to note that you cannot informally change a child support payment, and you cannot say that it was changed verbally between the two of you. You are entitled to a review of your child support every 36 months.A need for modification may arise in several instances, such as a change in a parent’s income, the child’s needs increase, or the child turns 18 or is no longer in high school. 

If there is a need for less or more support, a motion must be filed. If there is an existing family court case, the process will be different than if there is no case open. An attorney will be able to assist with filing your motion and will represent you at your hearing before a judge or friend of the court. The Smith Law Offices will compassionately and confidently guide you through any child support modifications. 

Contact The Smith Law Offices, P.C.

We offer a free initial consultation. To set up a private meeting with a knowledgeable and experienced Westland child support attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 734-729-4465.