Child support and child support enforcement in Livingston County are handled through the courts. The courts determine the amount of child support that a party has to pay; they base this decision on various factors including but not limited to the needs of the child, the financial status of the parties and who has custody of the child. The best interest of the child is the prevailing factor in child support cases because the courts want to ensure that the child is properly provided for at all times.
However, there are instances where the parties can come to an agreement on a child support arrangement without having to go through the courts. In uncontested divorce situations, a negotiated support agreement is a very real possibility. When a breakup is highly contested, however, more often than not the parties have to rely on the courts to solve the matter. For instance, television personality and actress Sherri Shepherd offered her soon-to-be ex-husband a monetary payout for spousal support - as well as child support for a child that they had through a surrogate - in hopes of moving through the divorce swiftly. Her husband rejected the offer and requested a higher amount in child support, which Shepherd was not willing to agree to. As such, this matter will have to be decided by a judge.
Even though Michigan courts determine what the monthly payments are in child support, the courts are not unreasonable when it comes to the needs of the parties. The best interest of the child is still at the forefront, however - the courts are not looking to making anyone financially destitute - and courts can and will modify child support where appropriate. This action must be requested of the court but the courts tend to take modification requests seriously.
Handling child support matters outside of the courtroom can prove to be easier on the parties, but sometimes that just isn't feasible.
Source: Radar Online, "Sherri Shepherd Offers Estranged Husband $100,000 Divorce Payout - He Rejects It!," Sept. 3, 2014