Divorce/Family Law

Modification of Child Support

Child support is a parent’s court-ordered payment to help with the costs of raising a child. The judge can enter an order to start or change child support until a child turns 18, or in some situations, until the child turns 19 ½.

If you have a case in family court involving custody or parenting time, but you don’t have a child support order, you can file a Motion Regarding Support to ask the judge to start child support.

divorce and a child support agreementIf you already have a child support order in your existing case, either party can file a Motion Regarding Support asking the judge to change the support amount. The moving party (the parent asking to change support) must show the judge there is a reason for the change.

Examples of reasons why child support could be changed include:

  • Either parent gets a raise or a new job that pays more
  • Either parent loses a job
  • Either parent begins to provide health care coverage for the child
  • The child’s needs increase
  • Custody arrangements change
  • Child care expenses increase
  • A child turns 18 and is no longer in high school

A Motion should be filed right away if your job changes or if the custody arrangement changes. Past due child support amounts normally cannot be changed. This means the judge cannot change the amount of a child support payment after that payment is due. If the parents informally change custody arrangements, child support isn’t automatically changed. A parent must file a motion asking to change child support.

The Michigan Child Support Formula is used to calculate child support. If either parent asks to start child support or to change it, the judge will use the formula to decide the amount of support. To find out what the support amount might be in your case, you can use the MiChildSupport Calculator on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) website.