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Child Support

Child Support

When parents divorce or parents are involved in a custody or paternity case, the court will order child support. Both parents have an obligation to support their children after the parents’ relationship ends. The court has a duty to determine the child support amount separate from what the parents may agree.

The Child Support Amount

The child support amount is determined by the Michigan Child Support Formula. This Formula uses each parent’s income, the amount of time each parent spends with the child and other information such as child care costs. The Formula amount is the amount the court will order unless there are legal reasons why the court should order more or less (deviation).

Child Support Calculations

Calculating the Child Support Formula amount is most often done using a computer program. These programs are not available on the internet. The court can refer the calculation of child support to the Friend of Court. When this happens, the parents will be asked to provide income and other information to the Friend of the Court. Each parent needs to provide correct, current information to determine the right child support amount.

Uniform Child Support Order

The child support amount ordered by the court will be in a separate Uniform Child Support Order (USCO). A USCO also orders who will provide health insurance for the children and who will pay what amount of uncovered health care expenses.

Collecting Child Support

Most often child support is collected and paid by income withholding. This is an order sent to the employer of the parent who pays child support requiring the employer to deduct the child support and pay it through the Friend of the Court to the other parent. This way both parents and the court have a record of the support paid.

Changing a Child Support Amount

To change the amount of child support ordered, parents may either ask for a child support review to the Friend of the Court or ask the court by filing a Motion. Parents may request a support review through the Friend of the Court every 36 months (3 years). The Friend of the Court can also review the support amount upon request when there has been some change that would affect the child support amount, such as a change in income or health insurance.

For Informational Purposes Only: This summary is provided for basic informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. For legal advice about your situation, you must talk to a lawyer.

Forms & Case Packets

Download FREE “Getting Started Checklists” for:

Other forms and case packets:

  • Case Packets (forms & instructions) for Custody, Paternity and Divorce with Children are available at the Legal Assistance Center for $20. Cash only.
  • Additional free and low cost forms, including free Motion forms, are available at the Legal Assistance Center.
  • The Legal Assistance Center has a Child Support Formula computer program you can use for child support calculations.


Additional Resources