In Michigan family law, child support is one of the most important issues that will be decided. Even after a case is completed, situations may change leading to the paying parent or the custodial parent to request the order be modified. This could be due to job loss, medical expenses, a reduction of income and for many other reasons. Parents can negotiate on their own, but that can be complicated and challenging. Understanding how to ask for the order to be reviewed by the courts for a possible modification is the first step in the process. As with any other legal issue, it is useful to have professional guidance from the outset.
Asking for a child custody review and potential modification
The Friend of the Court (FOC) is part of the circuit court and assists with family law issues. When seeking a review, it goes through the FOC. Parents can request a child support review every 36 months. However, if a parent wants a review sooner and shows that there is justification for it, it can be done before 36 months have elapsed between reviews. The key to a modification is if the circumstances have changed sufficiently to warrant it.
Given the national crisis since early 2020 with people losing their jobs, facing income reductions, having medical costs and needing to change the way the child is cared for, there are many people who did experience radical changes. Once the FOC looks at the amount in the child support order and agrees on a modification, it will file a motion asking for the court to make the change. It must be completed within six months from when the review begins. Both the paying parent and the receiving parent can ask for the order to be modified.
Professional assistance can help with child support modifications and family law
Family law cases can be difficult, especially when it comes to children. The fundamental goal with any child support order is to serve the child’s best interests. Even with that, the parents’ circumstances play a central role in the payments. If more is needed, the custodial parent can ask for a modification toward that end. For supporting parents who are confronted by factors that make it necessary to ask that the payments be reduced, that too can be done. It is essential to go through the legal process. For that, having experienced advice can provide answers as to how to proceed and have a good chance at achieving the desired result.