Every parent knows that the cost of raising a child goes up from time to time. Costs of childcare rise, as do grocery costs, medical costs, clothing costs and housing costs. So, every four years, Michigan updates its child support formula for parents.
For 2021, the significant changes to Michigan’s child support formula include:
- Increasing the amount paid in child support for medical coverage for a child
- Allowing parents who aren’t capable of earning income to reduce child support payments for a period of time (even paying zero child support if needed)
Medical coverage amount increases
It’s no surprise that the cost of medical coverage has gone up since 2017. In fact, family medical insurance plans went up on average 5% just between 2018 and 2019. 2021’s Michigan’s child support calculator now has upped the amount required to pay for a child’s medical coverage from $403 (the 2017 amount) per child to $454 per child. That’s an 11% increase.
The 2021 amount of $450 will remain in effect until state officials review it again in 2025.
Altering who can get child support payments suspended
The other big change to Michigan’s child support formula was in wording. Lawmakers added that parents who are incapable of working can have their child support levels adjusted, even having to pay no child support for a while.
Parents who are eligible for this type of child support modification include:
- Those who are incarcerated
- Those who suffer a serious injury or debilitating illness, making them unable to work
- Those who suffer a disability
- Those who become mentally incapacitated
Before, the law only allowed parents who are incarcerated to not have to pay child support. The new language also makes it easier for a parent to have their child support payments lowered for a short amount of time, such as recovering from a serious car accident or waiting to find out if they qualify for disability benefits. The goal is to have parents who cannot work not face penalties by missing child support payments and easily get a support modification.
When you are paying child support for years to come, it’s always a good idea to stay up to date on any changes Michigan officials make in this legal area.