Michigan Child Support Guidelines
Most case studies indicate that when divorced parents agree to work together for the sake of the child, the emotional and financial support received from both parents can work toward a continuity that benefits everyone. There is a decreased animosity between parents, there is more interaction with the non-custodial parent, and better still, the child has a better than average chance of reaching their fullest potential.
Applying for Child Support in Michigan
If you have been on subsidies or public assistance for any reason, then you already have a child support case number. If you don’t know it, or don’t have it, then you can call: 866-540-0008. If you have never filed for any sort of assistance before, then you are not in the system and will have to fill out an application with the state. The form can be found online as a PDF: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/DHS-1201_136519_7.pdf
Paternity Issues in the State of Michigan
If you don’t know where the noncustodial parent is and would like help finding them, then you can turn to the Department of Human Services in Michigan for assistance. Free of charge, the department will utilize any information you can give (such as name and address of employer (past and present), social security number, photographs, relatives’ names, military records, Facebook or social networking, past addresses) to locate them so that they can be tested for paternity.
Establishing Financial Support
Once the court has issued a ruling on custody then child support orders will be enforced. Many times they can fall under one or both categories: financial and/or medial. The financial support is the amount of money that will come per month to the primary parent (the parent that the child lives with the most). A caseworker will be assigned and will use information such as both parent’s income from the previous year, time and custodial arrangements. There is a specific formula that they use in determining the amounts awarded. You can find it here: http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/OfficesPrograms/FOC/Pages/Child-Support-Formula.aspx
However, just because there’s an amount on that chart doesn’t always mean that this is what you will pay. Often the judge will step in to amend (up or down) the amount indicated. If both parents are in agreement that the amount should be changed, then both can appear before a judge and a new order with the new amount created. As far as medical support is concerned, both parents are required to provide assistance with health care, with the insurance policy being the responsibility of the noncustodial parent. Co-payments are generally the responsibility of the custodial parent.
Last but not least, if you are the noncustodial parent, attempting to voluntarily take a lower paying job, quit your job, or refusal to declare income will result in heavy and swift punishment by the Michigan State government, even if you no longer live in Michigan.
For more information regarding child support, establishing an order, custody and parenting time, modifying an order, payments, locating parents, or staring a case, you can visit the Michigan Child Support website at: http://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5528_61204—,00.html