When parents get divorced, one of the biggest matters that has to be settled is who will have primary custody of the children. Once custody is decided then the affected parties will have to participate in paying for the child’s support. In determining the amount of child support payments Michigan courts use a standard formula that takes into account the obligated parent’s ability to pay.
It may come as a surprise to some readers to hear that in Michigan there are instances where someone who is not the biological father of a child may still have to pay child support for that child. This is because of a Michigan law that was enacted in 1956.
The law was applied recently when a man who was separated from his wife was ordered to pay child support for a child that she had by another man. The apparent intent of the law is that it does not matter who the father of the child is; what matters is the best interest of the child and who can best take care of the child financially. If the parties are separated but not divorced, the presumption is that the child is the product of that marriage even if the parents are separated.
The courts take child support very seriously because they want to ensure that the child is properly provided for. In any child support determination, the court takes into consideration the financial situation of the parents involved. An experienced family law attorney who is familiar with the child support process can help ensure that an individual parent’s rights are protected.
Source: Huffington Post, “Child Support Law Requires Man To Pay For Another Man’s Child,” July 29, 2013