Written on July 12, 2004 by David C. Sarnacki
2004 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (effective October 1, 2004):
3.08 Child Care Support
3.08 (A) When the custodian and/or noncustodial parent incurs work-related child care expenses, a child care support payment is required. Work-related child care expenses include those net expenses which allow the parent to look for employment, retain paid employment, or to enroll in and attend an educational program which will improve employment opportunities.
3.08 (B) When custodians or parents have an established pattern of child care and can verify that they have actual, predictable and reasonable child care expenses on behalf of the children in the case under consideration, the total net expenses to each parent should be apportioned between parents according to their share of family income, provided that the proportion paid by either party shall not be less than 10% nor more than 90%. Proportions should be rounded to the nearest tenth percent. The Percentage of Income Schedule contains the non-custodial parent percentages for certain income levels. To calculate the other parentís percentage, subtract the non-custodial parentís percentage from 100%.
3.08 (C) In calculating child care expenses to be apportioned between the parents, the net cost to the parent or custodian must be used. Figure the net cost of child care by deducting any child care subsidies, credits (including federal tax credit), or reimbursements from any public or private source from the gross cost of child care.
3.08 (D) The noncustodial parent’s portion of the custodian’s net costs minus the custodian’s portion of the noncustodial parent’s net child care must be added to the support calculated in Section 3.01 – 3.05 and the ordinary medical expense support payment.
3.08 (E) When custodians do not have an established pattern of child care expenses, they may request a contingent child care provision. The order shall provide a specific amount for child support and a projected amount for child care. The projected determination should be based on information regarding average child care costs in the community as provided by the local friend of the court or on three written quotations for child care as provided to the friend of the court by the custodial parent. The net cost of
child care shall be computed in the same manner as when there is an established pattern of child care. This contingent provision will become effective upon the following:
Step 1: Proof provided by the custodian of employment or enrollment in an educational or training program which will improve employment opportunities.
Step 2: Proof provided by the custodian of actual out-of-pocket child care expenses.
Step 3: The friend of the court notifying the noncustodial parent of the activation of the contingent recommendation and providing that parent with a copy of the verifying documents. Note: The implementation of the contingent provision may constitute a change of circumstances which would warrant a review or modification.
3.08 (F) Child care shall be recommended up to the start of the school year immediately following the 12th birthday of the child but only to the extent thereafter that the health and safety needs of the child require continued child care.
3.08 (G) In calculating annual child care costs, it shall be assumed that the court’s specific parenting time and custody orders are followed.
3.08 (H) If a child care provider requires payment to retain an available slot for a child without regard to whether the child attends during parenting times, vacations, illness or other temporary absences, the required payment shall be used in computing child care costs.
3.08 (I) Prior to making a recommendation, documentation of a parent’s child care costs shall be provided by the custodian to the friend of the court on the State Court Administrative Office Approved Child Care Verification Form, or its equivalent.