Child Support Mediation | Child Support Mediator

Child Support Mediation

The Michigan Child Support Formula governs child support. The formula takes into consideration a number of factors, including the income of the parties, childcare costs, health insurance, and the number of overnights the child spends with each party. One would believe child support to be a fairly simple calculation, however, the truth of the matter is, child support is one of the more difficult issues in divorce mediation because it is often tied to other emotional issues. Parties can create long term conflict by exaggerating or underestimating either party’s income, fighting to limit the number of overnights a child has with a parent, or using child support as a means of revenge. Mediation can aid parties in avoiding these pitfalls by facilitating discussion amongst the parties and helping them come up with a solution they feel best meets the needs of their child and each other rather than leave their fate in the hands of a judge or jury.


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    Child Support: Other Considerations

    In addition to determining who is paying child support and in what amount, parties should consider: how long child support will continue, who will incur the child’s medical costs, what type of medical coverage the child will have, how parents intend to communicate any medical needs of the child, and who will pay for things such as the child’s clothing, tuition, college and extra curricular activities.

    The Goal Of Child Support

    The goal of child support is to continue to raise a child in the standard to which the child was accustomed prior to the divorce. The formula provides a base amount for child support but parties are allowed to deviate from the formula and agree to an amount on their own for a number of reasons. These reasons may include: specific special needs of the child, extraordinary educational expenses, extraordinary medical expenses incurred by either parent for themselves or a dependent, a parent’s varying amount of irregular bonus income, any needs and support of a stepchild, bankruptcy issues, any earned income of a magnitude not fully taken into consideration by the formula, and any other factors that the court deems relevant to the best interest of a child. Mediation can help parties work through these emotional issues in a non-adversarial manner so the parties can generate options they believe best resolve the conflict and avoid exuberant court and litigation costs.