Monday, November 24, 2008

Child Support Modification

Modification of Child Support
Did you know the court may modify child support provisions in judgments at any time until the child reaches 18 years of age, and until the age of 191/2 under statutes providing for postmajority support. Here is how you do it.These specific statutes provide for modification
A."as the circumstances of the parents, and the benefit of the children require,"
MCL 552.17(1)
(divorce, separate maintenance, annulment);
552.17 Revision and alteration of judgment concerning care, custody, maintenance, and support of children; enforceability of order.
Sec. 17.
(1) After entry of a judgment concerning annulment, divorce, or separate maintenance and on the petition of either parent, the court may revise and alter a judgment concerning the care, custody, maintenance, and support of some or all of the children, as the circumstances of the parents and the benefit of the children require.
(2) An order concerning the support of a child of the parties is governed by and is enforceable as provided in the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.601 to 552.650. If this act contains a specific provision regarding the contents or enforcement of a support order that conflicts with a provision in the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.601 to 552.650, this act controls in regard to that provision.

B."upon proper application to the court and due notice to the opposite party," MCL 552.455 (FSA); and552.455 Modification of order; application and notice; order void upon entry of judgment of divorce or separate maintenance.
Sec. 5.
An order entered under section 2 may be modified by the court upon proper application to the court and due notice to the opposite party. If a judgment of divorce or of separate maintenance is entered by a court having personal jurisdiction over the parties, an order entered under this act is null and void upon the effective date of the judgment

C."for proper cause shown or because of change of circumstances," MCL 722.27(1)(c) (Child Custody Act).

722.27 Child custody disputes; powers of court; support order; enforcement of judgment or order.
Sec. 7.
(1) If a child custody dispute has been submitted to the circuit court as an original action under this act or has arisen incidentally from another action in the circuit court or an order or judgment of the circuit court, for the best interests of the child the court may do 1 or more of the following:

(c) Modify or amend its previous judgments or orders for proper cause shown or because of change of circumstances until the child reaches 18 years of age and, subject to section 5b of the support and parenting time enforcement act, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.605b, until the child reaches 19 years and 6 months of age. The court shall not modify or amend its previous judgments or orders or issue a new order so as to change the established custodial environment of a child unless there is presented clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child. The custodial environment of a child is established if over an appreciable time the child naturally looks to the custodian in that environment for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort. The age of the child, the physical environment, and the inclination of the custodian and the child as to permanency of the relationship shall also be considered. If a motion for change of custody is filed during the time a parent is in active military duty, the court shall not enter an order modifying or amending a previous judgment or order, or issue a new order, that changes the child's placement that existed on the date the parent was called to active military duty, except the court may enter a temporary custody order if there is clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child. Upon a parent's return from active military duty, the court shall reinstate the custody order in effect immediately preceding that period of active military duty. If a motion for change of custody is filed after a parent returns from active military duty, the court shall not consider a parent's absence due to that military duty in a best interest of the child determination.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Michigan Child Support

Child support is any court-ordered payment of money for a child, including payment of the medical, dental, and other health care expenses; child care expenses; and educational expenses.

Fathers can be ordered to pay necessary expenses incurred by or for the mother in connection with her confinement or for her pregnancy is included as support.

For enforcement purposes, support also includes the surcharge added to past-due support payments in lieu of interest.

All child support calculations, including for interim orders and requests for modification, must begin with application of the Michigan Child Support Formula (MCSF).

The amount of child support recommended by the child support formula is presumed to be appropriate.

The formula is to be based on the needs of the child and the actual resources of each parent. Parents have a right to have their actual resources considered.

Numerous factors are considered, such as parental income, family size, child care, dependent health care coverage costs, and other criteria. The ages of the children are not factored in, although data shows that the costs of rearing a child increase with the age of the child. The formula is intended to apply in divorce cases, paternity cases, family support cases, and other cases involving the support of children. In addition, special provisions are made for low-income families, split custody, shared custody, and third-party custody situations.

Parental time offsets are built in to the support amounts and parenting time abatements have been eliminated.

An offset for parental time generally applies to every support determination, whether in an initial determination or subsequent modification and whether or not previously given.

There are many reason to not use the formula these are called Deviation Factors
Why? Strict application of the formula may produce an unjust or inappropriate result in a case
when any of the following situations occur:

(1) The child has special needs.

(2) The child has extraordinary educational expenses.

(3) A parent is a minor.

(4) The child’s residence income is below the threshold to qualify for public assistance,
and at least one parent has sufficient income to pay additional support that will
Child SUPPORT RAISE the child’s standard of living above the public assistance threshold.

(5) A parent has a reduction in the income available to support a child due to
extraordinary levels of jointly accumulated debt.

(6) The court awards property in lieu of support for the benefit of the child (§4.03).

(7) A parent is incarcerated with minimal or no income or assets.

(8) A parent has incurred, or is likely to incur, extraordinary medical expenses for
either that parent or a dependent.

(9) A parent earns an income of a magnitude not fully taken into consideration by the

(10) A parent receives bonus income in varying amounts or at irregular intervals.

(11) Someone other than the parent can supply reasonable and appropriate health care

(12) A parent provides substantially all the support for a stepchild, and the stepchild’s
parents earn no income and are unable to earn income.

(13) A child earns an extraordinary income.

(14) The court orders a parent to pay taxes, mortgage installments, home insurance
premiums, telephone or utility bills, etc. before entry of a final judgment or order.

(15) A parent must pay significant amounts of restitution, fines, fees, or costs associated
with that parent’s conviction or incarceration for a crime other than those related to
failing to support children, or a crime against a child in the current case or that
child’s sibling, other parent, or custodian.

(16) A parent makes payments to a bankruptcy plan or has debt discharged, when either
significantly impacts the monies that parent has available to pay support.

(17) A parent provides a substantial amount of a child’s day-time care and directly
contributes toward a significantly greater share of the child’s costs than those
reflected by the overnights used to calculate the offset for parental time.

(18) Any other factor the court deems relevant to the best interests of a child
Every non custodial parent now has a right to have the number of over nights the children spend with them considered in calculating child support.
The rules of child support state at MCSG3.03(A) Presuming that as parents spend more time with their children they will directly contribute a greater share of the children’s expenses, a base support obligation needs to offset some of the costs and savings associated with time spent with each parent.

(1) Base support mainly considers the cost of supporting a child who lives in one
household. When a parent cares for a child overnight, that parent should cover
many of the child’s unduplicated costs, while the other parent will not have to
spend as much money for food, utility, and other costs for the child.

The rules also state it is important to know how many overnights the support order is based upon. MCSF 3.03(D)

If a substantial difference occurs in the number of overnights used to set the order and
those actually exercised (at least 21 overnights or that causes a change of circumstances
exceeding the modification threshold (§4.04)), either parent or a support recipient may
seek adjustment by filing a motion to modify the order.

The rules continue at 3.03(E). So the court can know if circumstances have changed at the time of a subsequent determination, every child support order must indicate whether it includes a parental time offset and the number of overnights used in its calculation.

Posted here
Terry Bankert