Child Support Lawyers -- St. Joseph, MI.

Serving Benton Harbor, Bridgman, Berrien Springs & The Greater Southwest Michigan Area

At The Law Offices of Mais & Sible, Attorneys at Law, we recognize that life can be very difficult for divorced & single parents. We also believe that every child should receive love, time and attention from both parents, regardless of what may have happened between the adults. According to Michigan law, every child is also entitled to financial support from both parents to assist with basic expenses. Whether you need child support to help provide for your child or you have been asked to make child support payments, we are equipped to help protect your rights and the well-being of your child.

Michigan’s guidelines for determining child support are rather straightforward. However, parents’ financial situations often change. The Law Offices of Mais & Sible, Attorneys At Law, can help advocate for child support modifications.

What Is Child Support?

Child support is a payment from one parent to the other to help with the financial obligations of raising a child. Child support typically continues until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. It is intended to help provide financial assistance for expenses involved with raising a child and maintaining a household.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

In Michigan, child support is not based solely on the income of both parents. Income is just one of several factors:

Each Parent’s Income: Including wages, overtime, commissions, bonuses, self-employment income, contract income, investment earnings, social security, unemployment, disability, worker’s compensation, retirement income, military pay, tips, gambling winnings, spousal support and employment perks

Income Deductions: Such as actual taxes paid, mandatory payments withheld as a condition of employment, life insurance premiums if the children are beneficiaries, employer contributions to pension plans, and spousal support paid to someone other than the parent

Number of Children: For this particular marriage

2nd Family Adjustment: For other biological children of each parent

Tax Filing Status: For each parent, head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately

Tax Exemptions: For children under age 17

Monthly Childcare: amount paid by each parent

Health Insurance Premiums: Paid monthly by each parent

Parenting Time Schedule: The number of overnights each parent has with each child

Circumstances That May Justify A Deviation from the Standard Recommendation Such As:

  • 1 parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed
  • A child has special needs
  • A parent is incarcerated
  • Other circumstances involving support of the child

Each case is unique, and we are happy to help you figure out the best recommendation for your situation.

Child Support is Modifiable

In Michigan, the Friend of the Court can conduct an automatic review of child support every 36 months upon the request of one of the parents. However, if there is a change in circumstances during that time, then a parent can file a motion for modification and have support recalculated, or the parents can agree to negotiate or take the issue to mediation. Changes in circumstances can include such events as:

  • Income going up or down
  • Layoff or job loss
  • Job changes
  • Daycare costs going up, down or being eliminated
  • Changes in parenting time
  • Changes in health care premiums, coverage, or costs

The Law Offices of Mais & Sible, Attorneys at Law have been helping families throughout the southwestern Michigan area with child support concerns for over 30 years combined experience. 

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