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Is there a cap on how much of the pay check is allowed to be taken for child support and alimony? Or can they take it all?

Coldwater, MI |

Just trying to be prepared and wondering if there is a rule they can't take more than ex: 50%, 60%? Seems like they would have to leave you something to survive on. And if i get an additional job so i can pay all my bills, she can take me back to court and have the child support and alimony raised/re-evaluated, correct? So how do i win?? Or am i wrong??

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Attorney answers 2


When a Court is analyzing how much one should pay in child support, they will almost always rely on whatever figure is determined by the Michigan Child Support Formula. You should ensure you have your own lawyer carefully analyze what particular figures are put into the Formula, to ensure it was calculated correctly, and to ensure you properly receive all your entitled "credits" for things like union dues and health care insurance premiums, etc. After child support is confirmed, one then analyzes what is "left over" from the child support payor's income, to determine what would be "fair" amount (if any) to pay to the spouse requesting alimony (the technical term for alimony in Michigan is "Spousal Support"). As I noted in my earlier post, one's "ability to pay" IS a factor in determining Spousal Support. It may help you to detail and itemize in writing all your monthly living expenses, to confirm your "ability to pay." I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick,


It is true that the child support formula will be followed most of the time. However, courts have the ability to deviate from the formula numbers where following the formula would lead to "an unjust or inappropriate result." There are a number of examples in the 2013 Child Custody Manual which qualify as "unjust or inappropriate." It should be noted, however, that should your child support obligations decrease, it could lead to an increase in spousal support from the standpoint that there will be a greater ability to pay.

My answer should be construed as general information only, and it should not be considered legal advice. No attorney-client relationship with me has been created until I have signed a retainer agreement. Please contact my office at 586-268-2400 for a free initial consultation.