Trenton Divorce Lawyer | Wyandotte Divorce Attorney
The Friend of the Court uses a computer formula to determine child support. In brief, this computer program asks three main questions. How much do you earn? How much does your spouse earn? And how many overnights per year does the mother have in parenting time with the minor children? Even if the parties agree to share the children equally, one parent can still be required to pay child support to the other, if his or her earnings are greater than the earnings of the other parent. At the end of the day, the more overnights the mother has awarded to her, the greater amount of child support she will receive. The reverse is also true. The more overnights that are awarded to the father, the less child support he pays.
The Friend of the Court will make a recommendation on both the issues of parenting time and child support if requested by either party. However, it is the judge assigned to the case who has the final word. Often these issues are resolved through a process called mediation.
A common misunderstanding is the belief that overtime compensation is not considered in computing child support. That is simply wrong. The court is required to consider income that a party has from any source including overtime compensation.
ALIMONY (SPOUSAL SUPPORT)
There is also a computer formula for calculating spousal support. However, in the area of spousal support, the court has more discretion in awarding or not awarding spousal support than in awarding child support. The court can completely reject using the computer program or it can use it as a guide or the judge can use his own method for calculating spousal support.
The computer formula requires the following information: the age of each party, the earnings of each party, the educational level of each party and the length of marriage.
Once again, the court can consider income from any source including overtime compensation. In a nutshell, the more the primary wage earner earns, the higher the spousal support. The longer the parties have been married, the longer the spousal support.
The behavior of the party requesting spousal support is often an issue in divorce cases. Fault, including verbal and physical abuse, cheating, drug use, are valid defenses to alimony claims. In Michigan, the many of divorce cases go through a process called mediation where these issues are fully discussed and considered. A skilled mediator can often resolve conflicting claims and avoid further court proceedings.