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What factors are considered when setting child support

Filing for divorce can be a complicated process, especially when there are children involved. Matters of determining child custody and setting child support are necessary to include in the final divorce settlement. Child support is designed to minimize the effect children experience when moving from a traditional family situation to a single-parent household. In Michigan, and in many other states throughout the nation, the income shares model is used to determine how much child support will be ordered. Under this model, it is believed that children should receive the same amount of financial support that they would have been exposed to had their parents remained married. 

The income shares model takes into account both parents income when determining how much money the non-custodial parents owes. After the parents’ income is pooled, a chart is used to say how much that amount is. Once the base child support amount is determined, other expenses may be added on as well. These include the following:

  • Educational expenses, such as tuition, books and school fees

  • Extracurricular activities

  • Daycare expenses

  • Medical expenses, including dental, vision and mental health

  • Travel expenses to get children back and forth from visitation

The judge presiding over the case may take into account several other factors when setting child support. This includes the age, health and education of each parent, where each parent works or their ability to get a job and the mental health state of each parent. It is important to keep in mind that child support is intended to maintain the child’s quality of life and is used for the benefit of the child.



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