If I am awarded custody of my children, how much will my spouse have to pay in child support and when can I expect to begin receiving this support?

Child support is awarded on a temporary basis when the parties have separated and one of the parties has primary physical custody of the children. Support is usually not awarded when the parties are living in the same home.

Child support is determined by a statutory formula drafted by the Michigan Supreme Court. This formula takes the relative income of the parties into account to set the level of child support. A good attorney will always seek to verify the parties’ income when determining the amount of child support. Sometimes one of the legal questions presented in a divorce is the determination of income for a spouse that may be attempting to hide his or her income.

Our law firm can provide you with a preliminary child support estimate at your initial consultation. We have specialized software approved by the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan that easily generates a child support report. This will be used to obtain a temporary order of support when your case is filed. It usually takes a few weeks for support payments to be processed through the Friend of the Court. Sometimes, the non-custodial party agrees to make temporary payments voluntarily and such payments can be instantaneous.

When child support is paid through the Friend of the Court, an income withholding order is entered by the court directing the non-custodial parent’s employer to automatically deduct a specified amount from each paycheck. This automatic deduction is then deposited into an account with the Friend of the Court and made available to the custodial parent.

Like custody and parenting-time issues, child support can be modified to reflect changes in the parties’ circumstances such as an increase or reduction in income or loss of a job.