Many Michigan parents find that, after their divorce finalizes, they strongly disagree with their child support or custody arrangements. In some cases, it may be a support order than a parent cannot sustain on their current income, or may be a custody arrangement that does not practically fit with the parent's life circumstances.
There are a number of legitimate grounds to petition for a modification to a child custody arrangement or a child support order, but it is important to have a firm grasp on the perspective of the court before attempting to modify such an order.
If you want to seek a reasonable modification to your child support or custody arrangement, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney to help you examine all of the details of your circumstances before determining a strong path forward.
With proper legal counsel, you can rest assured that your rights remain secure as you explore your options for modifying your support or custody order, without wasting precious time and resources trying to navigate this difficult legal area.
Which orders are modifiable?
If your financial circumstances change drastically, you may find that a child support order you once could carry reasonably is no longer possible to uphold. In these circumstances, you may petition the court to modify the support order to something more bearable in your circumstances. In general, Michigan courts reassess child support orders every three years, but a severe enough change in circumstances may merit a modification in the interim.
It is crucial in these situations to do everything you can to not fall behind on your payments. The process can take time, and must follow certain guidelines, but the more you demonstrate your intent to care for the child you love, the more favorably a court is likely to look on your petition.
Child support orders are often a difficult burden to bear for a parent. However, it is important to remember that child support is the right of the child, not the parent, so it is never appropriate to withhold child support because of a visitation or custody dispute. A court will take issue with any parent who withholds support for these or similar reasons, so be sure that your justifications for seeking a modification align with the priorities of the court.
Similarly, a court is more likely to consider hardship or practical difficulties of some kind in petitions for a modification to a child custody arrangement. The court generally looks last what is in the best interests of the child when considering custody modifications, but if an arrangement does not work in practice, or if one parent's circumstances change significantly in a way that may change what is best for the child, a court may modify a custody arrangement.
Of course, if the modification is due to dangerous or violent behavior on the part of one parent, a court is more willing to consider this type of modification to keep a child safe.
Get the help you need to stay on top of your changing circumstances
If you need a modification, it is always wise to enlist the help of an experienced attorney. With proper guidance, you can ensure that your rights stay protected while you work to find a way to meet your obligations and be the best parent you can be to the child you love.