Michigan’s child support formula considers both parents’ income

Divorce courts in Michigan apply an income shares model to calculate each parent’s child support obligations. That means that courts consider the income of both parents, instead of only the custodial parent’s.

Officially called the Michigan Child Support Formula, the calculation considers several factors: each parent’s income, the number of children, the anticipated medical and/or child care expenses, and a catch-all category for any other factors that should be considered in making a fair and appropriate child support award.

The rationale of the child support formula is the best interest of the child. Said another way, child support is intended to provide a comparable standard of living to the child after the divorce, despite the changed circumstances.

The formula also seeks to avoid unfair results, which is why a parent experiencing financial difficulties may seek court approval for a modification of a child support order. A law firm that provides a broad range of family law services can help with this type of request. In fact, former NBA Miami Heat star Glen Rice recently made such a request.

Rice, who began his career playing for the University of Michigan’s Wolverines, reportedly earned over $60 million at the time of his retirement in 2004. However, Rice claimed in a recent court filing that a series of bad financial investments warranted a reduction in his child support obligation, from $1,500 down to $600. The 49-year-old player has been living off his NBA earnings in the past 12 years, earning income only from basketball training amps and autograph signings. Fortunately, his former wife reportedly agreed to the modification request.

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