February 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Increases in court-ordered child support payments may point to a recovering economy in Michigan. The news comes after several years of rising unemployment and difficult financial times, creating a situation in which over ten percent of child support payments came from welfare checks. However, that number has been falling, and is projected to continue falling as the economy improves and those responsible for child support payments are now able to honor their obligations.
Enforcement efforts in connection with child support payments
Of course, ability to pay is not necessarily enough to account for the increase in child support payments. Rather, successful enforcement efforts are also responsible for the uptick in payment. Among enforcement efforts have been felony warrant arrests, mandating that parents with large amounts of outstanding child support payments must enter the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program, or KPEP, or pay their child support.
KPEP requires enrollees to get up early, follow a curfew and look for work. Many parents in arrears choose to pay their child support when faced with the choice between that and KPEP. Given that the numbers indicating an uptick in payments include post-enforcement payments, it is clear that enforcement efforts play a major role in funneling the fruits of economic recovery toward the payment of unpaid child support obligations.
Factors considered in a support determination
There are a number of factors that judges consider when making a child support determination. The primary factors include the parents' income, the time each parent spends with the child, health insurance and medical expenses, the costs of childcare and educational expenses. While these are the general guidelines when it comes to child support determinations
, courts have also looked to other factors including the existing child support obligations a parent has for other children, extraordinary medical expenses, the child's standard of living pre-child support order, any unusual expenses the parent may have or incur, the child's financial situation and extremely adverse financial situations. Given the post-recession environment, judges may have been more lenient to those in dire financial straits, but signs of recovery may alter this trend.
Michigan child support attorney
People who are concerned about child support may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. A family law attorney can explain the factors a judge will use in setting child support, help make sure that a judge is aware of all relevant factors and gather evidence to support your position.
If you are having trouble meeting your current child support obligations, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney. It may be possible to get a child support modification if your circumstances have changed since the time of the initial court order. Enforcement efforts by the state to secure outstanding child support obligations may require the assistance of an attorney experienced in this area of the law.
Article provided by Velzen, Johnsen & Wikander, P.C.
Visit us at www.westmichigandivorce.com---
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