Michigan law presumes that the number given by the Child Support Formula is the proper amount of support. But, it might not be fair to apply the child support formula in all cases. These are reasons that might make it unfair to apply the formula:


1. The child has special needs.

2. The child has extra education costs.

3. One of the parents is a minor.

4. The payer of support could pay enough extra that it would raise the child’s residence above the public assistance threshold.

5. One parent has debt that both parties contributed to, so the party with the debt has less money available to pay.

6. The court awards property instead of cash.

7. A parent is in jail with few assets.

8. A parent has unusual medical expenses, either for themselves or for a dependent.

9. A parent has an income that formula doesn’t really take into account.

10. A parent gets irregular bonuses.

11. Someone other than a parent can provide health coverage.

12. A parent provides almost all the support for a step child, and the step child’s parent is unable to earn an income.

13. The child earns an extraordinary income.

14. The court orders one parent to pay daily expenses like a mortgage or utility bills while the case is pending.

15. One parent has to pay fines associated with their criminal conviction. Certain crimes do not qualify, see the child support manual.

16. A parent is making bankruptcy payments, if that impacts what they have available for support.

17. A parent provides a lot of a child’s day-time care, so they have a greater share of the child’s costs than it looks like by using overnights.

18. Any other relevant factor.


The judge in your case will decide if it's fair to apply the formula. The legal term for an exception is deviating from the formula.