Changing Child Support Orders in Michigan
Michigan has its own Child Support Formula that calculates how much a parent will have to contribute toward the support of their child(ren). The Friend of the Court created the formula and they will usually be involved in your case. The FOC makes recommendations for child custody, parenting time, and child support payments.
Some of the factors the Friend of the Court will take into consideration when they calculate the child support obligation are:
- each parents’ income,
- any other support obligations,
- parenting time.
Other factors are also a part of the mandatory Michigan Child Support Formula. They include the amounts that are required to be withheld from paychecks (such as taxes, mandatory union dues, mandatory pension contributions, etc.) as well as specific expenses paid by each parent.
The state of Michigan has determined that the ordinary medical expense for each child, will be paid in full each year, by the parent that is receiving child support. This is called the Annual Ordinary Medical (AOM) amount, and it is included in most child support orders. In 2021, the formula increased AOM to $454 for one child, $908 for two, $1,362 for three, $1,816 for four, and $2,269 for five or more children.
There were also two exceptions added so that the court can determine that no ordinary medical expense amount is appropriate, which means they can treat all qualifying medical expenses as additional medical expenses:
- an incapacitated payer’s base support obligation is set at zero (§4.02), or
- The recipient has an employer-paid benefit (e g., health reimbursement arrangement) that pays the recipient’s initial out-of-pocket expenses for the children.
When one or both parents are contributing to the medical insurance for the child, that becomes a part of the child support calculation. Likewise, parents that pay for day care also get credit for doing so. To find out more information on calculating a child support obligation, see our page on Oakland County Child Support. For further assistance, contact us online or call us at our Farmington Hills office at 248-479-6200.
How Do I Change My Child Support Obligation?
For various reasons, there are times when parents may want to or be entitled to modify their child support obligation. Sometimes, families find that the Child Support Formula does not accommodate their unique situation. Some examples are:
- when a child has special needs,
- when the child has remarkable educational expenses,
- when the parent is still a minor,
- 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, or
- when the court sees any other extraordinary factor present in the case.
The situations listed above are ones that have been approved by the Michigan Child Support Formula. However, the court can deviate from the Child Support Formula for good cause, as it sees fit.These are not common examples but they do arise here in Oakland County.
Generally speaking, a parent can only request to have their child support obligation reviewed once every three years. However, where this is a significant change in between that three year period, a parent might be able to get the FOC to do a review.
What If I Can’t Pay My Child Support Obligation?
Sometimes, circumstances change and you are no longer able to pay your full child support obligation. Maybe you’ve lost your job or you find yourself in some other financial predicament. If your original child support obligation is now an undue burden, you can request a temporary or permanent modification of your child support obligation through the Oakland County Friend of the Court.
To be able to request the child support modification, you have to prove that your financial situation has actually changed significantly. To do this, you will need to prove yourself using pay stubs or proof of income if you are self-employed, and you will need to provide federal and state income tax returns.
The Friend of the Court will review your case and, if they think your child support obligation should be changed, they might file a motion on your behalf, asking the court to modify your child support obligation. At that points, the court will look at your case and decide whether or not it makes sense to adjust your child support payments.
They consider many factors, such as whether or not modifying your child support obligation is in the best interest of the child. It is usually better to have your own family law attorney review the changes and file the child support motion on your behalf.
Similarly, if you are not receiving enough in child support payments to be able to sufficiently support your child, you can request to modify the child support obligation. Again, there would have to be a change in circumstance, such as a change in your ability to provide for the child, a change in the other parent’s income or a change in the child’s needs.
The process is the same as described above: meet with your family law attorney, explain your circumstance and get an opinion about whether your attorney feels that asking for a change will succeed.
It can sometimes be difficult to modify your child support obligation. To be successful in this process, you will need an expert attorney who has experience modifying child support obligations for parents. At The Kronzek Firm, our attorneys have been at this work for decades and have extensive knowledge of the ever-changing child support rules in Michigan.
Your Oakland County Child Support Lawyers
Child support laws are constantly changing and tend to be very complex. If you are looking to change your child support obligation, you’re going to need lawyers who keep on top of these changes and who will be knowledgeable enough to help you get what you need to support your family.
The attorneys at The Kronzek Firm are always up-to-date and are ready to help you with your child support modification! 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.