The short answer to this question is no. In the State of Michigan, if a parent who pays child support has other children with another person, they cannot ask the court to reduce previously ordered child support to support his new children. For example, after David and Linda divorce, David is ordered to pay child support for the couple’s minor child. Two years later, David has another child with Ann. David cannot petition the court for a modification or reduction in child support to support his child with Ann.
Issues of child support can get complicated when a spouse has additional children. Family courts tend to frown on parents who cannot abide by the current child support order to start new families. There are certain defenses you can use, but they are limited and require knowledge of the law. Contact a Michigan family law attorney to discuss the specific details of your child support obligations and how the law applies in your case.
Important Child Support Considerations
Although you cannot use your new children to reduce child support, you might be able to use the subsequent children as a defense against increased payments. This scenario can come into play when you get another job to support your new child.
For example, if you get a second job to support your new child and have a significant increase in income, your former spouse can (and probably will) ask for an increase in child support. This is one of the few occasions when you can ask the court to consider your obligations with your new family and not increase the amount of child support. It is important to understand that in this scenario, you will be asking the court to go against the set guidelines for Michigan child support determinations. You will need to prepare a persuasive argument about why the court should go against the guidelines. Under these circumstances, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney before filing a response to a petition for a modification of child support.
It can be stressful to deal with child support issues, but the main point is that your children depend on you for financial support. The courts recognize this and will make decisions based on this principle. Be sure to stay current on your child support payments as this will help you get cooperation from the courts. Consult with an attorney before you take any steps that might affect your child support payments. With a better understanding of the law, you will be able to make decisions that are fair and comply with the child support laws in Michigan.
Our family law attorney represents clients in Kalamazoo & throughout SW Michigan. In some cases, the attorney offers ghostwriting services to Kalamazoo divorce clients. To learn more about your family law case call our attorney, Alesha Burnash at (269) 948-7600 for a free case evaluation.