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Grand Rapids Child Support Lawyers
Working for Parents Involved in Child Support Matters
Even if parents of the same child (or children) are not together, both have a responsibility to provide financial support to ensure that their child gets the care they need. Because family situations may vary (e.g., a child may live with one parent more often than the other, one parent may have a higher income than the other), it can be challenging to agree on a fair division of financial obligations between parents. It is often necessary to get a court involved and have a judge make a final decision. Getting a child support arrangement ordered by the court ensures that the obligations of each parent are equitable and that the failure of either parent to meet their requirements can be legally addressed and enforced.
Whether you are seeking to receive child support payments or you may be ordered to make child support payments, Tanis Schultz is here to help you. We have extensive experience guiding parents through this difficult time. We can explain your legal options and what you can expect throughout the process.
Our Grand Rapids child support attorneys will look out for your best interests. Call us at (616) 227-3737 or contact us online today.
What Is Child Support?
Child support is the payment one parent periodically makes to the other for their child’s financial benefit.
Child support payments help cover necessities and expenses such as:
- Medical care
- Health care
- Child care
- Education costs
Typically, the custodial parent will file a motion to ask the court to order that the non-custodial parent pay child support.
Our lawyers provide advice and guidance for either custodial or non-custodial parents. We can deliver the counsel you need to seek child support payments or ensure that the court's orders are equitable.
How Is Child Support Determined in Michigan?
Generally, child support payments are determined using Michigan's support guidelines. In limited cases, the court may deviate from this formula to account for the parent’s unique situation.
When determining the financial obligations of each parent, a judge will consider the parents' income, the number of children they have together, and the amount of parenting time each has with the child (or children).
For the purposes of establishing the child support amount, income includes, but is not limited to:
- Overtime pay
- Profit-sharing distributions
- Self-employment or partnership earnings
- Military special pay
- Spousal support
When going through these types of matters, it's necessary to have accurate and complete information to ensure an appropriate amount of support is set. Our Grand Rapids child support lawyers will review all data to make sure everything is accounted for and the court's decision reflects your financial status.
How Is a Child Support Order Enforced?
After a court orders one parent to make child support payments, the parent must fulfill their obligations on time and in the correct amount. Unfortunately, even though the payer is legally required to pay child support, they might willfully stop payments or pay less than they are supposed to.
In such situations, the child support order can be enforced through:
- Income withholding: The support amount is withheld from the payer’s paycheck.
- Civil contempt proceeding: The payer must appear in court to explain their failure to abide by the court's order.
- Tax offsetting: The payer's tax refund is used to satisfy child support obligations.
- Lien: A lien is placed on the payer's property.
If your child's other parent has refused to follow the court's order, our child support attorneys in Grand Rapids can explain what steps to take to seek compliance.
Can Child Support Be Modified?
If the payer's financial situation has changed and they are unable to make payments as, they may file a motion with the court to have the child support order updated. This request must be made as soon as possible. Willfully failing to make payments (even if it's no longer financially feasible) can result in legal action. Additionally, any changes the court made to the order will apply only to payments going forward. The payer will still be required to satisfy their financial obligation for the months prior to the change being made.
Retain the services of our child support lawyers in Grand Rapids for help filing your motion for modification and presenting your case to the court.
Providing Legal Guidance for Child Support Matters in Grand Rapids
Tanis Schultz delivers top-quality legal representation to parents involved in child support matters in Grand Rapids. We will work relentlessly to protect your rights.
Schedule a consultation by calling us at (616) 227-3737 or submitting an online contact form.
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