Michigan Child Support Attorney Assisting Clients with Modifications
Child support is extremely important to ensure that children in Michigan have the financial support they need to thrive. When there has been a change in a parent’s financial circumstances, however, that parent has the right to request a modification of the child support order. Under MCL 552.517, there are a couple of different ways in which a parent who provides support can request that the order (and the amount of the child support payment) be modified.
Modifying a child support order can be complicated. As such, it is very important to work with a dedicated Michigan child support lawyer who can assist with your case.
Ways to Modify a Child Support Order in Michigan
In general, a parent in Michigan can seek to have a child support order that has been issued by a Michigan court changed in two different ways:
- Parent can request that a local Friends of the Court (FOC) office review the child support order. In family situations where one or both parents receives public assistance, the FOC office will automatically review the child support order every 36 months. For family situations in which neither parent receives public assistance, a parent still may request that the FOC office review the child support order. If the FOC decides that the child support order should be modified, then it will request that the court modify the order accordingly; or
- Parent can file a motion asking the court to modify the child support order immediately.
Modifying a Support Order Because of a Significant Change in Circumstances
Michigan courts typically will only modify child support orders if a parent has experienced a significant change in his or her financial circumstances. Michigan law makes clear that the following may constitute reasonable grounds for the court to review the child support order, and if it finds modification appropriate, for the court to modify the child support order:
- Parent’s application for or receipt of public assistance, unemployment compensation, or worker’s compensation; or
- Parent’s incarceration or release from incarceration.
There are also other situations that may constitute a significant change in circumstances, as well as other reasons that the court might review a child support order, including but not limited to:
- Temporary or permanent changes in physical custody of the child;
- Increased or decreased need of the child;
- Employed parent’s access to dependent healthcare coverage; or
- Error in the original child support order.
Burden of Proof on the Parent Seeking Modification
The burden of proof—meaning the burden for proving that the child support order should be modified—is on the parent who seeks to modify the order. A fact sheet from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services emphasizes that a parent seeking to modify a child support order usually will need to provide the following evidence as proof:
- Most recent paycheck stubs (or statement from employer about wages);
- Copy of most recent federal and state income tax returns; and
- Copy of most recent business tax and/or corporation returns (for parents who are self-employed).
Depending on how and why you are requesting a modification, you may also be required to submit additional materials.
An Experienced Michigan Child Support Lawyer Can Help
If you have questions about modifying an existing child support order, a dedicated Michigan child support attorney can help with your case. Contact the law office of Paul J. Tafelski to speak with an experienced advocate about your situation.