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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
When a parent voluntarily reduces his or her
income child support may still be calculated using
the former earnings.
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.
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.
82 Ionia Ave. NW
PO Box 351
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0351
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
Daniel J. Fojtik
Director, Friend of the Court