When parents divorce, both must provide financial support until the child turns 18. Depending on the custody arrangement, a higher-earning parent or one with limited parenting time may pay support to the parent who has more parenting time or earns less income.
Review the expenses that child support payments should cover in Michigan.
General child support
The state has established a child support formula. Based on the parents’ incomes, the number of overnights the child spends with each parent, and other factors, the judge will issue a child support order. The amount covers the cost of the child’s shelter, schooling, clothing, food and other necessities.
Support for medical expenses
In addition to standard child support, Michigan courts may order child support for medical expenses and child support for child care expenses. To cover medical expenses, the court can decide that one parent must spend up to a certain dollar limit or income percentage to obtain health insurance for the child. The judge will also determine how the parents will split medical expenses that insurance does not cover.
Support for child care expenses
This category provides support to cover child care costs up until the age of 12 while the parent works, attends school or looks for work. The judge will use the parents’ income to determine a fair division of these expenses.
Parents can negotiate additional child support items in their parenting plan. For example, they can agree on how to cover the cost of extracurricular activities, travel, special programs, field trips and other added expenses. Some Michigan parents make provisions to share college expenses when they divorce.