Michigan can and will impute wages to both the custodial and non custodial parent. Michigan's child support
formula is based on both parents income. The following is the Michigan Child support formula manual
The following is the section from the manual for potential income(imputing)
2.01(G) Potential Income
When a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, or has an unexercised
ability to earn, income includes the potential income that parent could earn, subject to
that parent’s actual ability.
(1) The amount of potential income imputed should be sufficient to bring that parent’s
income up to the level it would have been if the parent had not voluntarily reduced
or waived income.
(a) The amount of potential income imputed (1) should not exceed the level it
would have been if there was no reduction in income, (2) not be based on more
than a 40 hour work week, and (3) not include potential overtime or shift
(b) Imputation is not appropriate where an individual is employed full time (35 or
more hours per week) but has chosen to cease working additional hours (such
as leaving a second job or refusing overtime). But actual earnings for overtime,
second job, and shift premiums are considered income.§2.01(C)(1).
(2) Use relevant factors both to determine whether the parent in question has an actual
ability to earn and a reasonable likelihood of earning the potential income. To
figure the amount of potential income that parent could earn, consider the
(a) Prior employment experience and history, including reasons for any
termination or changes in employment.
(b) Educational level and any special skills or training.
(c) Physical and mental disabilities that may affect a parent’s ability to obtain or
maintain gainful employment.
(d) Availability for work (exclude periods when a parent could not work or seek
work, e.g., hospitalization, incarceration, debilitating illness, etc.).
(e) Availability of opportunities to work in the local geographical area.
(f) The prevailing wage rates in the local geographical area.
(g) Diligence exercised in seeking appropriate employment.
(h) Evidence that the parent in question is able to earn the imputed income.
(i) Personal history, including present marital status and present means of support.
(j) The presence of the parties’ children in the parent's home and its impact on that
(k) Whether there has been a significant reduction in income compared to the
period that preceded the filing of the initial complaint or the motion for
(3) Imputation of potential income should account for the additional costs associated
with earning the potential income such as child care and taxes that a parent would
pay on the imputed income.
(4) The court makes the final determination whether imputing a potential income isappropriate in a particular case.
None of this applies just to the non custodial parent, it applies to both parents, even the one receiving the CS, they can and will impute income to the custodial parent. It's all in the Michigan Child Support Manual, link at top of my post.
In your first post you said you were laid off, fair enough, after all this is Michigan, jobs are hard to come by. But then in another of your posts, you say your in the position with your new husband that not working is possible. Nope the Michigan Formula does not work that way, that would be voluntarily unemployed or underemployed. Also since your child must be school age(deducting that by you saying before and after care) your cost for daycare is lowered during the school year. Yes in summer you may need full time care. But if they imputed you with minimum wage, childcare during school year and then full time during summer, they will say that minimum wage is enough to make to afford that much care.
Keep in mind to that on top of base support, your ex will be required to pay his portion of child care. His portion is figured in the child support formula. So say he was to make $50,000 a year and you were to make make $20,000, his portion would be much higher. They also take this percentage to medical insurance and uncovered medical expenses.
So your going to have to prove you were laid off, and you can't find other work. It's not likely you will win an argument on not being imputed because of cost of daycare, as your child does not need full time daycare year round, and even if you made minimum wage, the other parent will be paying a portion of daycare. So the court can find that you need to find a job and impute you on what you can make.
There is case law out there on the custodial parent being imputed, I've seen some cases before. Sorry don't remember the names of the cases and didn't save them, but they are there. My daughter is in a split situation, in Michigan, she is and was custodial parent, and they imputed her a wage.
It's possible to win your argument, but if your ex has a lawyer, and if he does his job, it's unlikely and you will be imputed. If I get a chance, I will see if I can locate any cases where the imputing has to do with the custodial parent and post them for you.