Saturday, November 23, 2019



In this economically hard time parents may need to modify their child support. Sometimes the original order called for no child support by agreement of the parties.

“ While it is true that a court can generally only modify orders for child support upon a showing of a change in circumstances justifying the modification, see MCL 552.17; Aussie v Aussie, 182 Mich App 454, 463; 452 NW2d 859 (1990), “[w]hen a court order does not provide for child support, such maintenance may later be provided by the court and does not depend upon a change of circumstances,” Johns v Johns, 178 Mich App 101, 106; 443 NW2d 446 (1989).”

“When  properly motioned for a change in child support  the Court may deny the motion. The question then is  has “...trial court correctly decided that it should not modify its previous child support order and that the parties should be held to their agreement that defendant not pay child support. MCL 552.605(3) states that a court is not prohibited “from entering a child support order that is agreed to by the parties and that deviates from the child support formula, if the requirements of subsection (2) are met.” (Emphasis added.)”

“ MCL 552.605(2) states: (2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the court shall order child support in an amount determined by application of the child support formula developed by the state friend of the court bureau as required in section 19 of the friend of the court act, MCL 552.519.”

“ The court may enter an order that deviates from the formula if the court determines from the facts of the case that application of the child support formula would be unjust or inappropriate and sets forth in writing or on the record all of the following:
 (a) The child support amount determined by application of the child support formula.
 (b) How the child support order deviates from the child support formula. 
(c) The value of property or other support awarded instead of the payment of child support, if applicable.
 (d) The reasons why application of the child support formula would be unjust or inappropriate in the case.”

“In Burba v Burba, 461 Mich 637, 644; 610 NW2d 873 (2000), our Supreme Court held that “the criteria [in MCL 552.605(2)(a)-(d)] for deviating from the formula are mandatory.” 4 The Burba Court emphasized that “[t]he importance the Legislature attached to courts carefully articulating these factors when deviating from the formula cannot be underestimated, for the Legislature prescribed their use when courts deviate from the formula in no less than eight different sections of the Michigan Compiled Laws.” Id. “To impress upon the courts the gravity of deviating from the formula, the Legislature has required them to meticulously set forth these factors when deviating.” Id. at 645-646. “

“Thus, as required by MCL 552.605(2), when deviating from the formula, the trial court fulfills its statutory duty only when the court has articulated its rationale in accordance with subsection 2(a) through (d).” Peterson, 272 Mich App at 517. “ [Source and Unpoublished Michigan Court of Appeals,11/14/19, case e-journal, #71700 Ncheugium v Tegadjourfrom Saginaw Circuit Court.]
If you have additional questions about Divorce, child support or other Family Court Issues Please call Terry R. Bankert, Flint and Genesee County Attorney, 810-235-1970

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