Michigan Firm Helps Custodial and Non-Custodial Parents

When parents divorce or live apart without ever having married, child support can be a major point of contention. The Law Offices of Kevin R. Lynch P.L.C. in Sterling Heights helps parents make sense of Michigan’s child support laws and provides strong advocacy during negotiations and court proceedings. Our firm’s child support lawyer delivers comprehensive counsel in these matters, including representation for modification and enforcement actions.

Guidelines for Calculating Child Support

Michigan’s guidelines for setting child support terms consider the income of both parents and numerous other factors, including how much time the child spends in each home under the child custody plan. There can also be offsets for money that one parent pays for the child’s daycare and/or health insurance premiums. If you are unsure about the potential child support amount in your case, we can approximate what the result would be under the guidelines. If you or your ex have a minor son or daughter from another relationship, that can affect the result as well.

Determinations and Enforcement

Once a child support determination is set by the judge, it has the same force as any other court order. Typically, the custodial parent will receive the payments and the noncustodial parent will be tasked with making them. Even if a noncustodial parent believes they have a compelling reason to break from the required amount, such as a job loss or the fact that their ex is not abiding by the parenting plan, they still must make the full payment in a timely manner until the court enters a modification. Michigan law authorizes many potential enforcement mechanisms for a child support order, including:

  • Withholding of income
  • Tax refund offset
  • Order to appear at a show cause hearing or face issuance of a bench warrant
  • Property lien or levy
  • Suspension of driver’s and/or professional license
  • Credit reporting
  • Criminal charges

Waiting to resolve a child support enforcement matter only makes the situation worse. Whether you are owed payments or are being told you have to make them, you should contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.

Petitioning the Court for a Child Support Modification

As the factors used to set a child support rate can change significantly over time, Michigan’s Friend of the Court office re-evaluates orders every 36 months to see if an adjustment is warranted. Of course, an income change, custody shift, medical problem, or some other pertinent event can happen at any time. When this occurs, our firm can file a motion seeking to modify the support order based on the current circumstances. Either party can request a shift, and we will advise you if it is likely that the court would agree to the modification request. Our child support lawyer also represents parents who oppose adjustments to the previously entered order.

Negotiation and Mediation of Child Support Agreements

Often, an effective child support order requires consideration of factors and expenses not included within the state guidelines. For example, parents might want to address higher education costs or expenses related to extracurricular activities in their agreement. A son or daughter’s long-term medical condition could also warrant special arrangements. When complex concerns exist, seeking consensus through negotiation or with the help of a qualified family law mediator might be the best, quickest way to obtain an equitable solution.

Litigation of Issues Affecting Child Support Orders

There are instances where litigation is necessary to resolve a child support dispute. This might occur if legal paternity has not been established or a serious disagreement exists regarding the accuracy of financial information. In these cases, we provide strong advocacy and work to achieve a favorable outcome as promptly as possible.

Contact a Michigan Child Support Lawyer for a Free Consultation

The Law Offices of Kevin R. Lynch P.L.C. in Sterling Heights handles all types of child support concerns for parents in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 586-336-1088 or contact us online.