Family Law Attorneys in Ann Arbor

Experienced Child Support Lawyer and Family Law Mediator

Michigan’s guidelines for determining child support are rather straightforward. However, parents’ financial situations often change. Ann Arbor Family Law Lawyer Wendy Alton can help advocate for child support modifications as an attorney or assist with child support negotiations as a certified neutral mediator.

What Is Child Support?

Child support is a payment from one parent to the other to help with the financial obligations of raising a child. Child support typically continues until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. It is intended to help provide financial assistance for expenses involved with raising a child and maintaining a household.

How Is Child Support Calculated?

In Michigan, child support is not based solely on the income of both parents. Income is just one of several factors:

  • Each parent’s income, including wages, overtime, commissions, bonuses, self-employment income, contract income, investment earnings, social security, unemployment, disability, worker’s compensation, retirement income, military pay, tips, gambling earnings, spousal support and employment perks
  • Income deductions, such as actual taxes paid, mandatory payments withheld as a condition of employment (i.e., union dues), life insurance premiums if the children are beneficiaries, employer contributions to pension plans, and spousal support paid to someone other than the parent
  • Number of children of this particular marriage
  • Second family adjustment for other biological children of each parent
  • Tax filing status for each parent, i.e., single, head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately
  • Tax exemptions for children under age 17
  • Monthly childcare amount paid by each parent
  • Health insurance premiums paid monthly by each parent
  • Parenting time schedule, especially the number of overnights each parent has with each child

Wendy Alton uses a software program and formula very similar to what the courts use to calculate a child support recommendation. Then she takes into account any circumstances that may justify a deviation from the standard recommendation, such as:

  • One parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
  • A child has special needs.
  • A parent is incarcerated.
  • Other circumstances involving support of the child.

Each case is unique, and Child Support Attorney Wendy Alton is happy to help you figure out the best recommendation for your situation.

Child Support is Modifiable

In Michigan, the Friend of the Court can conduct an automatic review of child support every 36 months upon the request of one of the parents. However, if there is a change in circumstances during that time, then a parent can file a motion for modification and have support recalculated, or the parents can agree to negotiate or take the issue to mediation. Changes in circumstances can include such events as:

  • income going up or down
  • a layoff or job loss
  • job changes
  • daycare costs going up, down or being eliminated
  • changes in parenting time
  • changes in health care premiums, coverage, or costs

The Right Family Law Lawyer for Your Child Support Case

Child support modifications are quite common, and Wendy Alton has assisted clients with modifications both during a pending case, and post-judgment.

She also handles child support modifications for new clients who either did not initially have an attorney or are seeking different legal representation. These clients are sometimes looking for a fresh set of eyes, and are often impressed with Wendy Alton’s perspective and approach.

As a “numbers person,” Wendy Alton excels at running child support formulas and making necessary adjustments. She is the ideal lawyer to have on your side in child support cases and modifications.

Child Support Mediation

Wendy Alton also mediates child support cases. Often when she serves as a certified neutral mediator, the parties do not want to hire attorneys because they want to keep their costs low. In child support mediation, Wendy Alton empowers both parties to come to agreements on things like effective date, tax exemptions, payment methods, etc. She is adept at explaining every option so people can make informed decisions.

Contact Our Ann Arbor Family Law Attorneys

If you have questions about child support or modifications, contact Wendy online or call 734-673-3567. Discuss your child support issues directly with Family Law Attorney Wendy Alton in a confidential, no-cost consultation.