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How Can I Change My Child Support Order?

How Can I Change My Child Support Order?

Do you think your child support order should be changed?

Because the Michigan courts determine child support, only the courts can modify a child support order. So even if you believe that your child support should be adjusted, you must continue to pay the child support amount assigned until the court grants a modification.

Determining child support

Child support is a way for the courts to ensure that children receive financial support from both of their parents after the parents’ divorce. When the court determines child support payments, it considers how many children the couple has, the parent’s incomes, the cost of child care, medical costs, any special needs of the children, the cost of health insurance, and other factors. Once the judge determines the level of child support that is appropriate, it will be made official with an order called a Uniform Child Support Order (UCSO).

Reasons to ask for a child support modification

If you are looking to change your child support order, you will need to demonstrate to the judge that there has been a significant change in your circumstances that justifies the modification. Some of these significant changes may include:

  • a change in custody arrangements whereby the noncustodial parent is spending considerably more or less time with the child or is supporting additional children from other relationships
  • a significant increase in the income of either parent
  • a significant decrease in the income of either parent
  • significant changes in the cost of living
  • a significant change in the needs of the child

Requesting a child support modification

The court automatically reviews child support orders every three years. Any requests for child support modification prior to that time must be made to the same court that issued the child support order by filing a court motion. With this filing, the parent must provide appropriate financial documentation to demonstrate the need for the change. It is important to note that even if you and your spouse agree to a different level of child support, only a judge can change a child support order.

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