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Friend of the Court

Income Review

It is important that child support charges correspond with a parent’s ability to pay. In Michigan, child support is calculated according to the Michigan Child Support Formula (MCSF). It is based on many factors such as both parents’ incomes, which may include potential income, the number of children on the case, any additional biological or adopted children, child care for the children on the case being reviewed, medical insurance for children, and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent.

FOC reviews child support obligations in the following situations:

  • A written request from a party asking for an income review. A party may request a review once every 3 years or upon evidence of a significant change in circumstance.

  • Upon court order.

  • Every three years when public assistance is involved.

  • Upon FOC initiative in certain situations.

When we start an income review we send out forms to you, the other party, and to any employers. You will have 14 days to return the forms to us. If you do not return your forms the review may be terminated or completed without your input. Next, we will calculate child support according to the MCSF and send a recommendation to both parties. Once we mail the recommendation, you will most likely have 21 days during which to review the recommendation, ask questions regarding the recommendation, and decide whether you want to object. If there is an objection you will have a hearing before a referee who will make a decision. If neither party objects the recommendation will likely become an order.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change child support?

If your situation changes it is important to act quickly. You may request an income review using the Income Review Request form. If you are not eligible for a review then you can file a motion with the court on your own using the In Pro Per Child Support forms or through an attorney. Please note the recommendation may be for an increase, a decrease, or no change in the current amount.

The other parent and I agree to an amount. What do I do?

There are certain requirements that must be followed when parents decide not to follow the MCSF. You may complete the Agreement to Modify Support form, return it to our office, and we will let you know if we are able to assist you. Or, you may file a stipulated order with the court on your own or through an attorney.

When will any change in support take effect?

Support may be changed back to the date a formal petition is filed with the court. When an income review is started by our office a petition is mailed to you along with the financial questionnaire.

Does the MCSF consider my bills and living expenses?

The MCSF assumes everyone has certain living expenses such as rent, car payment, utilities, etc., and these are already built into the formula. However, if you have expenses related to a bankruptcy plan, excessive medical expenses, or costs associated with the conviction of certain crimes, this information may be considered.

What happens if someone quits his or her job?

When a parent voluntarily reduces his or her income child support may still be calculated using the former earnings.

What if I disagree with a support recommendation?

In most cases you have 21 days to file an objection. The instructions for how to object will be included with your recommendation. Your objection must be related to the figures used in the calculation. If you do not object then the recommendation will become an order. An objection was filed.

What happens at the hearing?

The hearing is your chance to let the court know why you agree or disagree with the recommendation. When your case is called you sit at one of the tables before the referee. FOC and/or the court will review the recommendation and allow each party an opportunity to speak. It is important to bring supporting documentation with you to the hearing. At most hearings FOC is present to perform any calculations as directed by the court. The court will make a decision to modify the child support order, dismiss the petition, request additional information, and/or refer it back to FOC for a recalculation.

Contact Us

82 Ionia

Friend of the Court

82 Ionia Ave. NW
Suite 200
PO Box 351
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0351

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm

(877) 543-2660

(616) 632-6871

Daniel J. Fojtik
Director, Friend of the Court

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