How Is the Amount of Child Support Determined?

Hands signing an income tax form.

In Michigan, the court orders the amount of child support using the Michigan Child Support Formula guidelines established in state law. Child support guidelines are based upon the monthly income of both parents; however, even if the parents are not working, the court may order them to pay child support. In some cases, both parents may be ordered to pay support for a child not in their care.

Child support includes payment for:

  • The general care and needs of a child.
  • Medical support.
  • Child care expenses.

Currently, the court may also order the father to pay for the birthing expenses of the child. Approximately 72% of teen births in the United States are financed by Medicaid. Teen fathers may incur a debt to repay Medicaid for the birthing expenses.

In Michigan, the average birthing cost for a child in 2008 was $4,000. Generally, the court will determine each parent's share of the Medicaid debt by dividing their combined incomes.

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