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Washtenaw County Child Support - Q&A with a Washtenaw County Family Law Attorney

How is child support determined in Washtenaw County?

In Washtenaw County, child support is defined as a court-ordered payment of money from one parent of a child to another.  Children in Washtenaw County have an inherit right to the support of their natural or adoptive parents.  Payment of child support in Washtenaw County may include health care, child care and expenses for education. 

In Washtenaw County, a court must order support in the amount determined by the child support formula unless the court finds that application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate with specific facts on the record to support the deviation.   The Michigan child support formula considers the needs of the child and the resources of the family in Washtenaw County, and assigns the child a share of those resources in the form of child support.  The formula will consider the parents income, the allotment of custody/parenting time of each parent and the number of children to be supported. The formula for Washtenaw County child support will also consider the division of health care costs and child care expenses.  

The Washtenaw County family court can consider an agreement between the parties about child support, but the court does not need to follow the agreement.  

Can a mother and father agree to no child support in Washtenaw County?

No, in Washtenaw County parents may not bargain away, limit child support or restrict modifications  because a child is entitled to adequate child support in Washtenaw County, and to do so would usurp the court's authority.  Any agreement to put a limit on Michigan child support will be unenforceable in Washtenaw County.   This is different than the parties right to limit or agree to no spousal support.  

Can child support be modified in Washtenaw County? 

Yes, a change to either parents income or the amount of parenting time can justify a change in child support in Washtenaw County.  But when a party voluntarily reduces or eliminates income and the court determines that a party has the ability to earn an income and pay child support, the court does not need to lower the child support amount for an Washtenaw County child support case.  This is called potential income, and this could be a major issue for a parent who was once earning a high salary, and now has a reduced or no salary.    

A Washtenaw County judge will determine the potential income of the parent by looking at that parents education, experience and availability of opportunities in the job market.

When determining the modified amount of Michigan child support in Washtenaw County,  the court will apply the Michigan child support formula, but can deviate from the formula if it finds that the application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate, and it is backed up by specific findings.  

To learn more about our law firm, visit our website: www.kellykellylaw.com or give us a call at 248-348-0496.  We look forward to answering your questions, and assisting you with your legal matter. 

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