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William J. Reisdorf, P.C. – Family Law Attorney

mobile:  248-766-4484
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Child Support in Michigan

by William J. Reisdorf, J.D., Michigan Child Custody Attorney


In Michigan, with a few exceptions, all child support is figured from a table or book called the Michigan Child Support Formula (MCSF). Both parents' income is figured from a chart much like a federal tax table. The number of children and the number of overnights each parent has with the children is figured into the calculation. "Chart A" is a sample I made of how the formula works. It starts with a dad who makes minimum wage and a child-custodial mom who is on public assistance. My chart goes up to a pay scale of $100,000 a year. Check out this chart and call our office for any questions on how we may help you navigate through the child support system. Note also an important update below about "imputation" of income, where the Court calculates income for a parent based on what they think the parent "should be earning," although the parent may have lost their job. 


Child Support Reduction

The Latest Word from Michigan Courts


One of the "curses" of a poor economy falls on some parents who go into court on a child support reduction motion. They report to the court that they just lost their $90,000 engineering job, only to be told by the Court that they will be "imputed" as if they are still earning the high salary. "You'll soon go out and earn the $90,000 again before you know it,” they're told. Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals in Sandra Carlson v Kim Carlson (COA #292536, June 28th, 2011, published) ruled that this is contrary to Michigan law!


The Court of Appeals clarified that: a) there must be evidence presented at the hearing (presumably by the other parent) that the petitioner could have gained outside employment at the same salary and b) these rules of fairness apply to small family owned businesses as well. This is a long overdue case, which will help many laid off parents and small business owners who need a fair child support reduction and aren't getting justice from the courts. CALL ME for details on this case, if you or a friend can benefit from it!