The Michigan Child Support Formula is a statewide guideline that governs how child support obligations are determined in Michigan. Except for in certain particular cases, when deviations from the Formula are permitted, the Court must act in accordance with the statewide child support guideline when ordering support obligations. Such obligations are meant to cover a child’s general care and needs, medical support, and child care expenses.
According to MCL 552.605, deviations from the Formula are allowable if “the court determines from the facts of the case that application of the child support formula would be unjust or inappropriate…”
Proving eligibility for a deviation can be difficult. A qualified family law attorney can review the individual facts of your case and determine whether you may have cause for a deviation. If your circumstances meet the criteria, your attorney will present your case in court and argue that the Court allow for a deviation from the standard guidelines.
Circumstances that may serve as qualifying factors include any that show a severe financial hardship that interferes with a parent’s inability to pay the amount that would be ordered under the standard Formula, such as unmanageable medical expenses related to catastrophic injury or illness. Additionally, if a child has special needs that would not be able to be met by applying the standard Formula, a deviation from the guideline may be justified.
If you are filing for divorce in Michigan, it is important to seek counsel. Talk to an experienced Michigan divorce attorney as soon as possible.