In a Michigan family law case, child support is critically important. Many people, however, are not fully aware of what it is meant to cover. Naturally, it should provide them with a safe place to live, adequate food, school supplies, clothes and other fundamentals. Still, some costs are needed to make sure the child can live a healthy and fruitful life even when the parents are ending their marriage. Understanding everything about child support is essential to properly caring for a child.
Child support covers more than shelter, clothes and food
When a parent is ordered to pay child support, it goes beyond paying for their shelter, clothes food and necessities. It also covers their healthcare, child care and schooling. Generally, the non-custodial parent must make these payments. The amount can vary. There are guidelines that the state has created and this forms a baseline for child support payments. It is based on the parents’ earnings and how often the child is with each parent. The guideline is not set in stone and the court can deviate from it if it deems it appropriate to do so.
Medical coverage must be provided for the child. One or both parents must get it if it is available at a reasonable cost. In general, that means that its cost will not go beyond 5% of the paying parent’s gross income. The court can limit how much a parent is obligated to pay and both could be ordered to pay for what is not covered. Child care is also a concern. Since the parents are no longer together, work and other activities could leave a parent in need of someone to watch the child. If a child is under 12, the court can add to the support order to pay for it.
Help might be needed to understand and maximize child support
Parents undoubtedly want the best for their children and child support is designed to achieve that. Still, certain parts of it might be surprising or there could be disagreements as to how much should be paid and what the payments will be for. For these issues and anything else related to divorce and family law, it is imperative to have professional assistance throughout the process. This can protect the child as well as the parents’ interests and ensure the order is for a sufficient amount.