In nearly all situations, parents are required to financially support their children until they reach adulthood. When a parent is not living with their children, child support helps the children meet their needs.
Child support is ordered by the court. It includes payments for necessities and may also include payments for medical, dental and other health care expenses, school costs and child care. It may be ordered during a divorce, child custody case, paternity action and other proceedings.
The amount of child support ordered is determined by the monthly net income of each parent and the time the child spends with each parent.
Sometimes, there are circumstances where a parent may want to request a change to the child support order, called a modification.
In Michigan, either parent can request a child support order review every 36 months. Even if it has been less than 36 months since the last review, either parent can file a motion with the court to change the child support order.
Parents will be asked to provide information such as their most recent paycheck stubs or a statement of wages, deductions and year-to-date earnings, copies of their tax returns and any other information that may be useful to the court.
It’s important for parents who have a change in income to request a modification to the child support order instead of failing to pay. If a parent fails to pay child support, there can be serious consequences including income withholding, income tax refund intercepts, driver’s license suspension, passport limitations, credit bureau reporting and even felony charges.
An experienced attorney can help parents with their questions about child support and other family law matters.