Two weeks ago, I was granted $270 in a support modification (upped by about $100 from the previous order). My ex did not dispute this recommendation with in the 21 days given, so the order was signed by the judge and put into action. Upon finding that he owes $550 right now, he has decided to get a lawyer to try to get his support lowered again due to having another child a month ago.
Our current order is calculated based on my income being $1100 a month and his being $1500, which he insists is wrong and that he only makes about $1000 a month. The $200 that I pay for daycare is also not included on the order.
While my income is pretty accurate, his bank statements show him making approx. $800 in Jan and Feb, $1200 for March, and in April he has made $1700 (he is in real estate so I'm guessing business in that area is on the up).
If we end up in court for another modification, even with the income changes and daycare costs, could he potentially get his support lowered because he has a new child?
If I fight him on it, could I possibly be awarded more?
It is possible he could get support lowered. If he has a new child, that will lower his income by a small percentage. What is more worrisome, is that he has a job with fluctuating income instead of easily documented paystubs. His attorney could fight to include costs and other things that may lower his income more than the additional child.
If you have daycare expense, it absolutely should be included, and will increase the support amount. Attorneys have software in their office that can run support calculations for you given many different circumstances. They will also be able to argue against the reduced income his attorney may try to present - better than you will be able to. This shouldn't be a very complicated process, you should be able to find an attorney who will give you a free consultation to asses your situation, then charge you a minimal retainer to represent you through the settling of this support issue.
Kelly G Lambert III
He will be entitled to what is called an "other child" credit when running the Formula, based on him having a new child. However, you should DEFINITELY ensure all of your child care expenses are also inclued in the Formula. Here's a link to the Michigan Child Support Fromula Manual: http://courts.mi.gov/Administration/SCAO/Resources/Documents/Publications/Manuals/focb/2013MCSF.pdf. I know it's complex, but you should at least review it to prepare for your case. Ideally, you will want to have your own local Family Law Lawyer assist you, to ensure the Formula is properly calculated when it is reviewed per his modification request. Also, if you have a lawyer, they can send a document subpoena to your ex's employer, to verify his "true" income. I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The child support formula does take into account the fact that a parent (whether payor or payee) has other children to support. It is important to note that the modification order is only 2 weeks old. It is unlikely that the court will re-try this case because now father wants to complain that the income used was not accurate - why didn't he raise this previously or during the 21 days he had to object? The fact that he failed to tell the court he had another child, or was going to, is a simple calculation and the court may allow this with proof that he is paying support for the other child. Before you decide whether to fight him on it or not, have the child support forumla run taking this other child into consideration to see if dollar wise it makes much of an impact. Your child care costs also need to be given to the Friend of the Court so that the father can pay his share of those expenses. If you can afford to do so, you should hire an attorney to work with you on these issues.
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