Skilled Family Law Attorney in Wayne County, Michigan
Determining the child support you will be ordered to pay or receive can be one of the more straightforward aspects of your divorce. It is extremely important, though, to enter any divorce settlement negotiations with a strong sense of these numbers and how they are determined.
I can help you through all legal aspects of a divorce with children, as I have done for many men and women in the Livonia and greater Detroit areas over the past three decades. In addition, if you or your ex-spouse's financial circumstances have changed substantially since your divorce, I am prepared to help you seek a child support reduction or increase. If we need to subpoena employment records or bank records or business records, we can do that, in order to establish what the real incomes are.
Child support in Michigan is determined according to clear, fact-based guidelines that primarily take into account the:
- Number of children
- Incomes of both parents
- Number of overnight stays scheduled for children at each parent's house
- Necessary insurance and daycare costs, as well as any special needs of the children
It is not a simple percentage. The formula is more complicated than that. Naturally, I have the accepted computer program that calculates support. Still, there are always special things to watch out for, such as distortions of income that sometimes happen because a springtime bonus may look as if it happens every quarter, when it actually does not. That is one example. There are others.
Setting Expectations and Making Sound Decisions for Life After Divorce
I work closely with all my clients to help them set expectations, avoid unpleasant surprises and make decisions related to child support. In some situations, research and resourcefulness is needed to bring forth an accurate accounting of a spouse's income.
As you strive to form a picture of what life may be like after divorce, you will need to meet financial realities head-on. Child support is a serious obligation, and strong laws are in place for enforcement when someone fails to pay. Usually, it is collected by an income withholding order (like a garnishment). But sometimes, it must be collected by a "show cause" hearing, in which the court is asked to hold the payer in contempt of court for failing to pay support when he (or she) actually had the ability to pay. The threat of jail can be a powerful incentive to get someone to pay support when he or she has the ability.
A Financially Savvy Lawyer who Knows Michigan Child Support Laws
Recent changes in our state laws make it more important than ever to work with an lawyer who can forecast outcomes with confidence and provide guidance on child support as well as other financial aspects of divorce.
If you are divorcing with children — or need solid counsel for enforcement or modification of an existing child support order — please call or e-mail me, attorney John R. Rinn, today. I offer a brief free consultation and personal, focused attention to your concerns.