Once your divorce is finalized, you might be thinking that you want to avoid any more legal issues for quite some time. However, for many parties in Michigan, circumstances change that may necessitate a modification to part of the divorce order. For example, if the court awarded spousal support and the spouse making spousal support payments loses his or her job, that spouse may need to have the order for support payments modified.
In general, Michigan law will only modify an existing order if the party seeking the modification can show that there has been a change in circumstances. We want to provide you with more information about modifying a court order from your divorce.
Modifying a Spousal Support Order
Typically, in order to be able to modify a spousal support order in Michigan, the party seeking to modify the maintenance amount will need to be able to show that there has been a change in circumstances. What might constitute a change in circumstances? In most cases, the party paying spousal support will experience a change in income, such as a job loss. If the party paying maintenance loses his or her job (and did not quit the job simply for the purposes of avoiding spousal support payments), that party can seek to have the order modified.
However, it is important to know that some spousal maintenance orders in Michigan are non-modifiable. If the order is non-modifiable, then it will usually not be possible for either party to modify the order.
Modifying Child Support
If your divorce involved minor children from the marriage, then you likely have a child support order in place. If you make child support payments and lose your job, for instance (and did not quit the job simply for the purposes of avoiding child support payments), you may have a few options for modifying the child support order. First, if both parents agree to a change in the support order, you may be able to craft a new order and ask the court to approve it. If the order was entered more than 36 months ago, you can ask the friend of the court (FOC) office to review the child support order. Otherwise, you will need to be able to show that there has been a significant change in circumstances.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Michigan
There are many reasons that you may want or need to modify an existing court order after your divorce. It is important to understand the types of situations in which a modification may be possible, and to speak with a divorce lawyer in Michigan as soon as possible about having any modifications made. In some situations, you may be able to modify an existing order with relatively little difficulty if your ex-spouse agrees. In other situations, however, you may need to petition the court for a modification.
One of our experienced divorce lawyers in Michigan can discuss your options with you today. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to talk with a divorce lawyer at our firm.