Michigan parents who are divorced or otherwise not living together are still responsible for raising their children in a cooperative fashion. If parents are not going to share physical custody of their children, the noncustodial parent may be required to make monthly payments to the custodial parent. These payments help to ensure that there is enough money to provide food, clothing or shelter for a minor son or daughter.

What affects the payment?

The exact amount that a noncustodial parent will pay each month is based on several factors such as income. State law may also take into account a parent’s earning potential as well as how many children that person has when determining a payment amount. As a parent or child’s circumstances change, it may be necessary to change the terms of an existing child support order. It may be possible for the parents themselves to negotiate the terms of a modified order on their own.

In such a scenario, a judge will need to review and approve the new terms before they can go into effect. Alternatively, parents can ask a judge to decide whether an existing order should be changed in any way. Legitimate reasons to modify a child support order include a change in a parent’s income or an increase in the cost of meeting a child’s medical or educational needs.

When a child support order goes into effect, it must generally be followed to the letter until it is modified by a judge. Parents who are struggling to remain current on their payments or who need more assistance may benefit from speaking to an attorney in order to learn more about the process of modifying an existing support order.