Custody and Child Support
Child custody and parenting time can be sensitive issues. Whether you are expecting a contentious battle or you and the other parent have worked out an agreement, you and your child can benefit from the guidance and counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney. If you are in a contested custody case, it is important to have a lawyer to argue your position and protect your rights. David Dart has been providing child custody and child support representation to parents in Michigan for over 25 years. David will be there with you to protect your rights during negotiations, mediation and litigation.
When determining custody, the court considers what is in the best interest of the child. In Michigan, there are 12 factors regarding the relationship between each parent and the child which include the strength of the relationship, the capacity of a party to provide for the child, the health of each party, the moral fitness of each parent and other considerations.
Based on recent changes to the Michigan Child Support Guidelines, child support in Michigan is determined by a complex formula based in large part on the number of overnights that each party receives on an annual basis. A parent receiving generous, non-overnight parenting time will pay more support than a parent receiving numerous overnights on an annual basis. Parties with equal income levels and equal annual overnights usually pay no child support. Even if one parent earns an income greater than the other, equal annual overnights often result in substantially lower child support payment requirements. This new formulation finally recognizes that parents who provide substantial care for their children deserve a lower child support obligation. However, this formulation also encourages less involved parents to insist on additional overnights in order to gain a reduction or elimination of support obligations regardless of the child’s best interest.