Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support if my Kids Stay With me For The Summer? (Pt 1)

Bird flying over chairs on beach
Parents who get a lot more time caring for their kids over the summer sometimes wonder if they can pay less in child support to offset the seasonal costs.

The summer in Michigan is unlike any other season (although with all this rain, it sure feels like spring, doesn’t it?) people travel more, go on vacations and take day trips, and the state’s campers arrive en masse on the lake shorelines like an army, well stocked with sunblock and s’mores. There’s more sleeping in, more staying up late, and the best part – no school! (Although as parents, that sometimes doesn’t seem like the best part!). But another thing that changes is the time spent with your kids.

Summers usually mean more ‘together time’ with your kids!

For parents with partial custody or court ordered visitation, this usually translates into longer visits with your children. What may have been only two or three days out of a week may now turn into several weeks of uninterrupted time. And for parents with only hours at the time to spend with their children during the school year, summer often mean days at a time spent together. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bond with your child and make memories together, but let’s face it – it’s not exactly cheap!

For parents who pay child support, this can be extra tough!

Most parents who make monthly child support payments have to budget around that expense – after all, kids aren’t cheap. So the added financial burden of having to pay for vacations and other fun activities, while also feeding and housing a child for weeks at a time can put some serious stress on your income. Especially when you’re still having to pay the other parent the same amount of money in child support payments. So can you scale back? Can you pay less during this season because they’re carrying less of the financial burden? It’s a question many divorced parents ask…

Can I pay less child support when my kid is with me during the summer?

It makes sense – you’re carrying more of the expenses now that your child is spending more time with you, so why should you have to keep forking the dough over to someone who isn’t even with your child. But just because it makes sense to you, and to us, doesn’t mean the court sees it that way. In Michigan, child support amounts are calculated by the family court, and then ordered. Which means the amount you pay is a court ordered quantity and the only entity who can change that is the court. Neither you nor your ex has the right to demand more, or choose to pay less.

So what can you do to ease the financial difficulties during this season?

There are options available to you, which we’ll unpack for you in the next article. Until then, if you’re struggling to make your child support payments work within your budget, or want to modify your custody or visitation order, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you with every aspect of your divorce, including child support, custody, parenting time, and even alimony.