When a couple divorces in Michigan and they have children together, the one legal constant in a Michigan divorce is that one person will have custody of the child and the other party will pay child support. But what happens when your ex wants child support modification?
Determining Child Support in Michigan
There are three factors that determine the child support amount in your Michigan divorce settlement: your income, your ex’s income, and the number of overnights a child (or children) has at both residences. The sum of these three main factors is an objective formula that creates a non-negotiable number – and the amount will have to be paid monthly, without question.
This legal equation – which also takes into consideration who is footing the bill for healthcare, childcare, and uninsured healthcare costs, for example – helps many divorced parents breathe easier. They know what money is coming their way every month to help pay for their child’s needs. When the person paying that child support payment wants things to change, stress increases exponentially.
Divorce Judges Have the Final Say
Here is what you need to know: Child support modification cannot happen independently of a Michigan courtroom. In other words, your ex cannot decide on their own to stop paying as much as they have been paying for child support.
The judge in your divorce case has jurisdiction on all subsequent issues involving child support (and parenting time, and child custody, and so on) until your child turns 19.5 years old or graduates from high school. It’s the judge who will decide if any child support modification is permitted. Maybe your ex lost their job. Maybe someone got a salary increase and is making more money. Perhaps someone is on disability. Ultimately, there must be a significant change in financial circumstances. All financial factors will be taken into consideration so that a fair legal decision is made, and made in the best interest of your children.
The “Insurance” for Your Child Support Payments
You may be worried that your ex may simply decide to change the amount you are being paid on their own. This isn’t legally permissible in Michigan. The law requires income withholding as part of the final judgment of a divorce. The employer of the person paying child support is ordered to deduct the predetermined amount from your ex’s paycheck and forward it to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU).
MiSDU is like your divorce secretary, or insurance policy, when it comes to child support. This department tracks child support payments, makes sure they are paid on time, and disburses the funds to you.
If your ex wants child support modification, contact your attorney immediately. Rely on a Michigan divorce attorney you can trust, before, during, and after your split. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens to schedule your no-cost initial interview and discuss your divorce concerns and questions.