Child support is the money paid to a custodial parent to help care for a child and provide for a child’s needs. In Michigan, arrangements regarding child support are usually handled by courts, and the courts are in charge of setting up a payment schedule as well as the amount paid.
However, just because the court determines what the payments are does not mean that the monthly amount is set in stone. In certain cases, courts will modify child support based on what the paying parent can afford. The court does not want to make the paying parent destitute or place him or her in financial hardship, but child support, if ordered, must be paid on time.
A recent situation involving an NFL football player highlights the importance of meeting child support obligations. Terrell Owens, a former wide receiver for numerous professional teams, recently missed a court hearing regarding child support that he owes. Owens has not made the monthly payments that he was supposed to make for his children. Because of this, the court is quite unhappy with him and is threatening Owens with incarceration if he does not appear at the next scheduled hearing.
An important thing to note when paying child support in Michigan is that if you cannot pay on time due to a change in circumstances, it is perfectly appropriate to request a child support modification. This request allows the court to take into account circumstances that are brought to its attention, and to modify the child support order accordingly. Instead of facing penalties or, even worse, jail time, a request for support modification affords the payer some relief — something many individuals in Michigan may welcome in these difficult economic times.
Source: NBC Sports, “Judge Upset as Terrell Owens misses child support hearing,” Michael David Smith, July 12, 2012