Question: I pay about $3,000 in child support each month and my oldest
just started college. I pay $1,000 per month to the school toward
tuition and room and board. Can I deduct this payment from the child
support and pay only $2000?

Answer: In Michigan the answer is no in most cases. Because the Court
does not have jurisdiction to order you to pay college tuition (except in
very rare circumstances) the Court cannot give you credit for college
tuition paid against child support. The same is true for other types of
expenditures for the kids, i.e. clothing bought directly by you, fees for
sports participation, etc. Of course, my answer would change if you had a
specific provision in your Judgment allowing credit for these types of
expenditures. You should have us review your Judgment so we can let you
know whether there is any provision in the Judgment that may allow for a
credit. If you are working through or anticipating a divorce now, you
MUST address these issues in the Judgment since they will likely be set in
stone once the Judgment is entered. Do not guess and do not wait. What
you do now could save you thousands of dollars.

Michael Olson is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.

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