Seasoned Attorneys Resolve Child Support Disputes in Macomb County
Capable guidance yields positive results for you and your children
Under Michigan law, children have a right to financial support from both of their parents. When parents live apart, the parent who does not have custody must pay a certain amount each month to the custodial parent. But how much is appropriate? The state tries to standardize payments based on income, but since different families have different financial needs and expectations, disputes often arise. At Boyer Dawson & St. Pierre, in Sterling Heights, our attorneys draw on more than 150 combined years of legal experience to pursue the best outcomes possible for our clients. Our approach combines an unwavering commitment to financial transparency and personal attention to your family’s unique needs. By helping the court understand the reality of our clients’ finances and personal circumstances, we have been successful in obtaining fair orders for obligors ( paying parents) and recipients of child support.
Sterling Heights lawyers tackle tough child support issues
According to the 2010 census, 31 percent of all households in Sterling Heights included at least one child under the age of 18. But 10.5 percent off all homes had a woman head of household with no husband present and 4.3 percent had a male head of household with no wife present. So, if you are (or are about to become) a single parent who depends on child support or one who must pay child support to a custodial parent, you are certainly not alone.
Michigan uses what is called the “income shares” model for calculating child support. Under this framework, parents pay the same proportion of their total income for child support that the state predicts they would if both parents and their children lived together. The formula takes into consideration several factors, such as:
- The parents’ incomes
- The number of overnights the child spends with each parent
- The number of children supported
- Medical costs
- Childcare costs
Generally, in cases of joint physical custody, the spouse who earns more pays support to the spouse who earns less. In cases of sole physical custody, the noncustodial parent usually pays support to the custodial parent. The parent who pays child support must do so at least until the child turns 18, but the deadline can be extended under certain circumstances.
Among parents in Sterling Heights, child support disputes often go beyond the basics to questions of whether a paying parent can be forced to pay private school tuition and expenses for extracurricular activities. Although the law does allow the court to make educational expenses part of the court order, the court must consider the obligor’s ability to pay.
Modification and enforcement of child support in Macomb County
When the court issues a Uniform Child Support Order, that decree has the force of law. If an obligor does not pay support, the recipient can petition the court for the following enforcement remedies:
- Garnishing the obligor’s pay
- Placing liens on the obligor’s real or personal property
- Intercepting state and federal tax refunds
- Suspending driving, occupational, sporting and/or recreational licenses
- Initiating contempt proceedings, which can result in fines and incarceration
If an obligor has a legitimate inability to pay child support, it’s best to petition the court for a modification of the order. If you have suffered a financial reversal that is likely to last, the court will consider such evidence. However, if an obligor doesn’t have a good reason for a drop in reported income, the court could “impute” income and deny a modification.
Child custody disputes can be more complex than they seem. That’s why you need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer, which you’ll find at Boyer Dawson & St. Pierre. Wherever you are in your child custody dispute, we can provide the reliable representation you need to achieve a positive result.
Contact an established family law firm for child support disputes in Sterling Heights, MI
Your financial future and your children’s welfare depend on a fair child support order. Trust Boyer Dawson & St. Pierre to manage your child support dispute capably and professionally. To schedule a consultation, call 888-559-4705 or contact our Sterling Heights office online. We are conveniently located at 43805 Van Dyke Avenue, off Route 59, next to the Four Seasons Plaza.