Child support is a reasonable thing to expect from any parent. But in some circumstances, the way in which child support is calculated can mean that a father or mother is required to supply a child (and the child's primary custodian) with far more than is needed to provide for the needs of the child.
In the case of high-earning fathers and mothers, Michigan law can be a bit opaque. The standards for child support calculation are only set up to accommodate earners with an annual income of about $425,000.
Here is where things can get complicated - if you are near, but do not exceed, the upper cap for child support calculation using the standard formula, then you may be required to provide much more than another, more average earner.
Certainly no one is claiming that your child is not entitled to have a good life and be provided for. However, in many cases what would be fair child support percentages for some become tantamount to extortion for others.
Surely you have heard many stories of parents who use a child by a wealthy former partner as a golden meal ticket. This is unfair to everyone except the abusing parent. Child support is the right of the child, not the custodial parent, and should not be viewed as a source of income to fully support the family.
What can I do as a high-earning parent?
The solution to this type of child support issue is two-fold.
First, even though judges do not have enormous amounts of flexibility in child support calculation, excellent legal counsel can help you make the most of the situation. It is wise to work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of the Michigan legal and taxation system, so you can present the most beneficial case to a judge.
Income may be reported many different ways, and in many cases, the amount of income that is shown at the bottom of a tax return does not reflect reality.
A skillful attorney can help you understand the ins and outs of your situation and fight tirelessly to ensure that you are not subject to practical extortion through child support.
Secondly, because child support is the right of the child and not the parent, it may be possible to create a compromise with the courts that allows you to make regular payments that are realistically calculated for the child's living expenses. Any excess money can be placed in a trust for the child to access when he or she reaches the age of majority, or another milestone.
In this way, you can ensure that your child's parent is not abusing your high-earning status, and that the money you are required to pay is truly given to the child.
Get the right help sooner than later
An experienced attorney with an extensive background in relevant legal and business issues can help you craft the best argument for your child support case - but the fight for fair treatment starts immediately.
If you are ready to build a strong defense for your earnings, and ensure that your child is truly provided for, and not merely used as a source of income, do not hesitate to reach out to a qualified attorney today.