Changing Child Support Orders in Michigan
The Friend of the Court (FOC) developed the Michigan Child Support Formula to be used when setting or changing child support obligations. The FOC will usually be involved in your case and makes recommendations for child custody, parenting time, and child support payments if there are minor children involved. Oakland County, Livingston County and Macomb County all have a very active and robust Friend of the Court office.
The Child Support Formula is complicated and involves many factors and a complex algorithm, some of which are:
- each parents’ income
- any other support obligations
- parenting time which means number of overnights with each parent
- the amount required to be withheld from paychecks of the parents
- healthcare insurance costs
- childcare costs
The Child Support Formula is not one-size-fits-all and sometimes families find that it does not accommodate their unique situation. Some such unique situations that show up in our Oakland County cases are:
- when a child has special needs
- when the parent is still a minor
- when the child has remarkable educational expenses
- when the court has allowed property to be given for the benefit of the child in place of support payments
- when the child earns a significant income
- when the court sees any other extraordinary factor present in the case
The unique exceptions listed above have been approved by the Michigan Child Support Formula. However, the court has the ability to make other exceptions as it sees fit. While these are not common examples, they do arise here in Oakland County and Macomb County. To find out more information on calculating a child support obligation, see our page on Oakland County Child Support. For assistance, contact us online or call us at our Farmington Hills office at 248-479-6200.
How Do I Change My Child Support Obligation?
If either parent is receiving public assistance, their child support order will be automatically reviewed every three years. If neither parent receives public assistance, you may still request a review once every three years. However, situations exist where a significant change can happen before that three-year period. If that is the case, your attorney may file a court motion for consideration to change the order.
What If I Can’t Pay My Child Support Or Am Not Receiving Enough?
You’ve lost your job or were in an accident that incurred immense debt. With these new costs, you are no longer able to pay your full child support obligation. If you find your original obligation has become an undue burden, you are able to request a temporary or permanent modification through the Oakland County Friend of the Court. Likewise in Livingston County and Macomb County. Alternatively, if you reasonably feel you are not receiving enough child support to sufficiently support your child, you can also request to modify the child support obligation. But keep in mind that the default position is to follow the Michigan Child Support Formula with few exceptions.
For child support obligations to be modified before the 3 year period, it must be proven that circumstances have changed substantially so that you should either owe less or should be awarded additional child support. When a custody or parenting time order changes, child support obligations do not always change automatically but can be changed as with any other change in circumstances.
If you are seeking to change your child support obligation, the Friend of the Court will review your case. If they think your child support obligation should be changed, they might file a motion on your behalf, asking the court for modification. More commonly, your own attorney will file a motion on your behalf to request a review of child support. A court will then have to determine if there is a good reason to change child support payments. Many factors will be considered, and of course, there is no guarantee you will get the outcome you want.
To give yourself the best chance at your desired outcome, you should have your family law attorney review the changes and file the child support motion on your behalf. This process can be difficult and requires an expert attorney with experience modifying child support obligations to be successful.
Your Oakland County Child Support Lawyers
The laws regarding child support are complex and ever-changing. If you are seeking changes to your child support obligation, you will need lawyers with up-to-date knowledge of these issues to best support your family.
At The Kronzek Firm, we are ready to help you with all of your child support needs. Our attorneys have the experience over decades, and the knowledge necessary to help you succeed. Contact our Oakland County office today so that we can start helping you. We are conveniently located in Farmington Hills on Northwestern Highway near Inkster Rd.
TALK TO AN OAKLAND COUNTY FAMILY LAWYER