If you are a divorced parent, you know that life changes quickly. Your original child support agreement may have worked well in the beginning. However, your child’s needs, and your own ability to meet them, are likely to change as they grow and you continue to navigate life’s daily challenges.
Whether you find yourself unable to make monthly payments or the payments you receive are no longer enough, you may be able to modify your support order by petitioning the court.
1. When is modification possible?
In Michigan, you may request a support order review after experiencing a “substantial change in circumstances” that makes current payment amounts unreasonable or unfair. Common examples of a substantial life change include:
- You/your ex-spouse have experienced a major gain or loss in income
- You/your ex-spouse want to alter custody arrangements
- Your child now requires specialized educational or medical care
2. How can you change a child support amount?
There are two paths to seeking child support modification in Michigan.
You may petition your local Friends of the Court office to review your current order. The FOC may modify payment amounts if it finds that either you or your ex-spouse have experienced a significant increase or decrease in expenses or income.
If you need to change a support agreement immediately, you may also file a motion directly with the court.
3. What if you and your ex-spouse agree to the change?
You and your ex-spouse may agree that support amounts should change. While you still need to seek approval from the court, you may come up with a new support agreement together.
If you and your spouse want to make support changes while minimizing potential conflict, a family law mediator may be able to help you reach a new agreement while maintaining control of the final outcome.