In most cases, when parents get divorced, they have to work out a custody agreement to determine which parent gets to spend time with their children and when. But visitation and custody are only a portion of the decisions that need to be made – another one is child support. And this one is almost more contentious than the issue of custody (money issues usually are!)
As soon as money is involved, people get easily upset!
Any time people are asked to fork out large sums of money (even when it’s for a really good cause), it tends to ruffle their feathers. And while most loving parents will happily agree to paying for the care of their children, they often struggle with the fact that they money they’re handing over is going directly into the bank account of the person they’re busy divorcing. It creates a lot of tension.
“It doesn’t take that much to raise a child!”
Many paying parents don’t agree with how the other parent spends the child support stipend they recieve. In many cases, when they’re forking over hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars every month, they believe they should have a say in how that money is spent. Or at least an accounting of how it was spent, just to ensure that every penny was used to benefit their child, and not to benefit their ex. But it doesn’t work that way, so this can cause problems.
So when can I stop making payments?
This leads to the inevitable question: “When can I stop making child support payments?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to that question, but we can break it down for you pretty simply. Here goes: If you live in Michigan, your child support obligations usually last until your child (or the last of your children) turns 18. However, they can continue up until the age of 19½, if your child is still in high school (with a reasonable expectation of graduation) and is living with the parent receiving the child support.
Are there any exceptions to that rule?
Yes there are. In cases where the parent agree among themselves that the child support payments don’t have to continue, they can notify the court and the court can decide to end the payment. Also, if a child becomes emancipated (which is a court process through which a minor becomes self-supporting and doesn’t require financial support from their parents any more) then the child support order can be modified.
Figuring out child support can be complicated.
In Michigan, family law is somewhat fluid. Existing laws change, and new laws are passed, and it can be quite confusing if you don’t spend all day, every day immersed in it. So in order to make sure that your child support agreement is fair, you’re going to need help from a very experienced family law attorney. If you’re trying to figure out how much you owe in child support, or what is owed to you, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. We’re here to help.