Parents have rights and responsibilities toward their children under Michigan law. These responsibilities include paying for the child’s needs, including food, shelter, medical care and educational necessities. When both parents live with the child full-time, the court presumes they are taking care of their child’s needs, but when the parents are no longer together, a child support order may become necessary.
Michigan courts apply a somewhat complicated formula to determine child support obligations. The amount required is based on the income of both parents and the amount of time they have custody of the child, as well as the child’s needs. It can take time for parents to submit all their pay stubs and other documents, and more time for the court to calculate the child support amounts.
When circumstances change
Once the parents have gone through all the work of getting a child support order, they may be reluctant to have to return to court to make a change. This may be especially true in cases where a child support order comes at the end of a difficult divorce or paternity determination.
However, a lot can change in a parent’s life after a child support order is set in place. If a paying parent loses a job or suffers some other unexpected financial crisis, they may suddenly have trouble coming up with the money required by their child support order. If they fall behind on their payments, they can quickly get into serious financial trouble.
Michigan takes parents’ financial obligations to their children seriously. The state has a number of options for enforcing a child support order, including wage garnishment, taking money out of the parent’s tax refund, and even possibly arresting the nonpaying parent.
Request a modification
Luckily for parents, a child support order can be changed. If a parent can show that they are no longer able to pay the ordered amount, the court can adjust the required amount.
Parents who are having trouble paying their child support can seek out help from experienced attorneys in order to request a child support modification.