Child Custody & Support FAQ

Why do I have to pay so much in child support?

In Michigan, child support is set by a formula, the Michigan Child Support Guidelines. In short summary form, three variable have the greatest effect on the amount: your income, your co-parent’s income, and the parenting time schedule (the number of overnights spent with each parent). Michigan Courts must apply the formula, unless they find a compelling reason, set forth on the record, to deviate from the Guidelines.

How often can child support be reviewed?

Child support can be reviewed, legally speaking, whenever there is a substantial change in one of the factors affecting support. That is, if your income, your co-parent’s income, or the parenting time changes substantially. In most circumstances, if the change in a factor (or more than one) would amount to a 10% change in the amount of support, then a review of child support is warranted.

How do I get custody of my child?

If a custody court order has never been entered, you will have to start a custody case. If custody has been legally given to your co-parent, you may have to file a motion to change custody. To do that (successfully), you will have to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances to justify reviewing the placement of the child and then that it is in the child’s best interests to be with you.