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?


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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