Who Can Modify Child Support

Either Parent Can File a Motion to Modify Child Support

Either parent can file a motion to ask the court to modify child support. When parents make a change in the custody arrangement, child support isn’t automatically changed. Child support will still be charged to the payer as stated in the most recent order. It won’t change until someone files a Motion Regarding Support and the judge signs an order changing the amount.  When a parent changes jobs, that person could end up making more or less money. The court needs to know about a change in either parent’s income, because it could change the amount of child support.

In both of these situations the court must be told about the change right away, or the payer can end up owing a large amount of past-due child support.

Past due child support amounts normally cannot be retroactively modified. This means the court cannot change the amount of a child support payment after that payment is due.

The Friend of the Court Can Modify Child Support

In general, child support orders can be changed until the child reaches the age of 18, or 19 ½ when child support is ordered to this age. The Friend of the Court automatically reviews child support orders once every 36 months if the child or custodial parent gets public assistance. The Friend of the Court also reviews a child support order if a party makes a written request for a review. However, Friend of Court will not review the order unless the party asking for the review can show there has been a major change in the payer’s job or in the custody arrangement (i.e. overnights).

The Friend of the Court will only ask the court to modify child support if the difference between the current support amount and the new amount is at least 10 percent or $50.00 per month, whichever is more. If the difference between the current support amount and the new amount is less, the Friend of the Court doesn’t have to ask the court to change it.

Why an Attorney is Needed for this Request

Having a skilled family law attorney can assist you in making sure your review request is processed properly and in a timely manner.  The OWL Resource Group offers skilled attorneys throughout West Michigan that can assist you with the paperwork, review the paperwork you’ve prepared or simply file the necessary request on your behalf.