Child Support Attorney in Farmington Hills, Michigan
When ending a marriage, matters related to children, including child support and custody, can easily become the most heated and emotionally charged issue. Attorney Blake P. Lipman understands the delicacy of legal matters involving minor children when it comes to getting a divorce.
Managing finances after a divorce can be challenging, which is why parents often do not agree on what constitutes an appropriate amount of child support and whether such payments are necessary. The child support attorney at Law Office of Blake P. Lipman provides every client he represents with compassionate and individualized attention.
Attorney Blake P. Lipman has fought for the rights of individuals and families in Farmington Hills, Michigan, both in and out of the courtroom since 1995. The law firm also serves clients throughout the Tri-County Area of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb, as well as the Detroit Metropolitan Area.
Understanding Child Support in Michigan
The state of Michigan uses the so-called “Child Support Formula” when determining which parent should provide payments for the benefit of their child and calculating the amount of that support based on a wide range of factors. Under the law, the parent ordered to pay child support is the “payer,” while the person who receives child support is the “payee.”
The Michigan Child Support Formula considers the following factors when determining how much should be paid:
The income of each parent
The number of nights the child spends in each parent’s house per year
The number of supported children
The child’s needs
Michigan law requires the judge to order child support based on the statutory guidelines unless doing so would be inappropriate or unfair. When both parents agree on a support amount that deviates from the amount calculated using the Child Support Formula, they have to convince the judge that the formula-based amount is inappropriate or unfair. This can be challenging without the assistance of a family law attorney in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Imputing Income in Child Support Cases
In cases where a parent deliberately reduces their income or becomes unemployed in an effort to avoid paying child support or pay less, the court may resort to what is known as “imputing income.” Imputed income means “potential” income that, based on a parent’s past income and other factors, the parent has the ability to earn.
Enforcement of Child Support Orders in Michigan
An existing child support order can be enforced when the payer fails to pay support as ordered by the court. Typically, enforcement methods apply to the collection of past-due support payments and include the following:
Garnishing the payer’s tax refunds
Withholding income from the payer’s wages
Placing a lien on the payer’s personal or real property
Suspending the payer’s licenses, including the driver’s license
Initiating contempt proceedings
The payer can be held in contempt of court when they fail to pay court-ordered child support and the judge determines that the party has the ability to pay all or some of the amount owed. Being held in contempt of court is associated with criminal penalties, including fines and possible jail time. If you need help with enforcing a child support order or defending yourself against an enforcement case in Farmington Hills or the surrounding areas in Michigan, contact Attorney Blake P. Lipman.
Modifying an Existing Arrangement
Any matters involving minor children in a divorce can be extremely sensitive and deeply personal. This fact alone can make it more difficult for parents to reach a consensus on child support, both when establishing a new order and trying to modify an existing one. Michigan law recognizes several reasons for modifying an existing child support arrangement, including:
Either the payer or the payee loses their job or gets a reduction in income
Either party gets a promotion, raise, or a job that pays more
The child’s needs change
The childcare or healthcare expenses change
The custody arrangements change (e.g., the child spends more nights in the payer’s house)
Typically, child support cannot be changed retroactively, which is why it is important to request changes to the existing order as soon as the need for a modification arises. If either the payer or the payee requests a modification, the court will once again use the Michigan Child Support Formulate to calculate the appropriate amount based on the new circumstances.
Termination of Child Support
Under Michigan law, the payer must provide child support until the supported child becomes 18 or, if the child is still in high school, 19 years of age. Courts in Michigan may also order termination of child support if any of the following occurs:
The payer dies
The child dies
The child marries
The child enters active duty in the military
The child goes up for adoption
The support obligation is terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction
If you are considering asking the court to terminate your obligation to support your child or you need help opposing the other payer’s attempts to seek termination of child support, contact an attorney.
Child Support Attorney Serving Farmington Hills, Michigan
Attorney Blake P. Lipman assists clients with all matters related to child custody, including establishing and negotiating an agreement, representing the interests of the parent and child in court proceedings, enforcing a child support order due to non-compliance, and modifying/terminating an existing order. Reach out to Law Office of Blake P. Lipman today to request a free consultation and get the guidance you need.