Child Support

Every parent should provide their child with the emotional and financial support the child needs to thrive. In furtherance of that principle, Michigan law imposes a legal obligation on a parent to financially support a biological child. Family law attorney Henry Bergmans helps clients address any child support issue they face.

Henry can assist you with an initial child support determination or provide guidance if your financial situation changed and you need a modification of your existing child support order. He is dedicated to helping you provide your children with the amount of financial support that is appropriate in your circumstances.

Determining Child Support

If you are going through a divorce and have children, you may be required to pay child support. Generally, a judge uses the state's child support guidelines to determine how much a parent must pay in support. These guidelines essentially outline a mathematical formula that takes into account a number of factors in calculating a parent's child support amount, including:

  • Each parent's current and potential net income
  • Number of children in the family
  • Spousal or child support paid to a spouse or child from another marriage
  • Cost of child care and health care
  • Child custody arrangement, including the number of overnights a child spends with each parent

Child support includes payment to cover a child's general needs, medical support, and child care. After a child support order is in place, a special division of the Michigan court system called the Friend of the Court (FOC) orders automatic withholding of child support from a parent's paycheck.

If there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a decrease in your income or an increase in the supporting parent’s income, you may request a modification of child support. However, whether the court grants a requested modification depends on the specific circumstances.

Modification of Child Support

After a child support order is in place, a change in circumstances may necessitate a modification to the order. Only the court can modify a child support order. Receiving approval of a child support modification in Michigan can be a difficult task. It is strongly recommended that you contact an experienced attorney if you wish to pursue an increase or reduction in an existing child support order.

While you may request a review of your child support order every three years, a petition for a modification may be filed any time if a substantial change in circumstances occurs. The reasons for requesting a modification may include:

  • A decrease to your income due to the loss of employment or a demotion
  • An increase to your income due to a new job or a promotion
  • A change in physical custody or the parenting time arrangement

Even though the court determines modification requests on a case-by-case basis, if you cannot show that your child support obligation will change by at least 10% or $50, whichever is greater, the court is likely to deny your request.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Henry Bergmans

If you have questions about getting or modifying child support in Michigan, contact Henry Bergmans for a free initial consultation by reaching out through the online contact form or calling at (810) 360-0900. From his office in Howell, Henry assists clients throughout Livingston County, Genesee County, Ingham County, and Washtenaw County, and in the surrounding areas.