The state of Michigan takes child support during a divorce seriously. If your former spouse filed for divorce and custody, chances are that he or she has temporary custody of your children, while you are being expected to pay child support and see your children during scheduled visitation times only.
All too often, non-custodial parents feel frustrated and isolated from their beloved children, which can make the adjustment to visitation and child support more difficult than it needs to be. It can be even harder if your former spouse is making visitation difficult by shortening or canceling it.
If you are going through a contentious divorce, particularly if both you and your former spouse want full custody of your children, you need the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney. An attorney can help you establish your case for full or partial custody and may even be able to assist you in having your child support amounts adjusted, if you believe that the temporary support order is too high. Don't wait until things get even more difficult. Speak with an experienced divorce and family law attorney as soon as you know you will be getting divorced.
Why you need to pay your child support in full and on time
When you are going through a divorce, the only information the courts have to determine your suitability as a parent is how you behave in court, the evidence your attorney and your former spouse's attorney present and your record of visitation and support payments. Paying your support on time, even if you don't agree with the amount or the current custody arrangement, helps establish you as a devoted parent who knows how to put your children's needs before your own. It also helps show the courts that you are putting your children's needs first during this divorce.
Conversely, refusing to pay support can make you appear like a poor parent to the courts. Additionally, you risk the courts garnishing your wages, seizing your tax return or even issuing a warrant for your arrest if you don't comply with court ordered child support.
An attorney can help if your support is too high
The state of Michigan uses a formula to determine child support, which means that amounts may not be accurate, particularly if the only information the courts had to work with was financial documentation from your former spouse. Those with higher income and more assets are just as likely to have child support levels that are too high as those who have low incomes.
Provide your attorney with documentation about your income and your debt liabilities. Your attorney can review that information and determine if requesting a child support adjustment hearing is in your best interests.