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Michigan child custody cases can be stressful for both parties involved in the dispute, as well as... Read More
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When the parents share custody, one party still has to pay support. This would be the parent who spends the least amount of time with the children, and/or who makes the most money. There are rare cases when parents spend exactly the same number of days per year with their children and have identical incomes. In those cases, parents may not have to pay any child support.
Child support is determined based on the income of the parents and how much time each parent spends with the children. Parents who are more equal in those areas will see less support being paid, while parents with a much more unequal distribution will see larger support payments. Support is paid to the parent who spends the most time with the children, by the parent who makes the most money. In the majority of cases, the mother has custody and the father pays child support, but this is not always true and your situation may be different.
The amount of child support paid can be changed, and either raised or lowered. If the parent who does not pay support starts making substantially more money, the amount the other parent has to pay in support may be lowered. Conversely, parents who pay very little support may suddenly find that they have to pay more because they began to make more money. Either parent can go to court and ask to have the child support obligation changed, but there must be a valid and documented reason for the change. It cannot be adjusted just because one party wants more money or doesn't want to pay support.
In Michigan, child support lasts until the child turns 18. If the child isn't out of high school by that time, the support will continue until graduation or until 19.5 years of age. Children who have not graduated by that age, or who have dropped out, aren't part of the child support obligation. Child support also doesn't pay for college. For both parents to be required to contribute to a college education for the child, a separate agreement would be necessary. Parents can also contribute in the absence of an agreement, but would not be required to do so.
Child support is not taxable. If you're receiving child support you do not need to report it as taxable income. Conversely, the parent who is being required to pay the child support cannot deduct the payments from his or her income and get a tax break on them. That keeps everything fair for both parties. The reason the support is not taxable income is that it is not, technically, income for the parent. It is money solely to support the child.