Laid off or fired because of COVID-19? The time to modify support is now.

If your income has been reduced because of the economic effect of the COVID-19 outbreak, Governor Whitmers’ Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19), and an alimony or child support order is in effect, the time to modify support is now.

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There is no retro-active modification of alimony or child support. Time is of the essence to modify support.

The longer you wait, the more you lose. Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.603 instructs us that there is no retroactive modification of alimony or child support unless there is a pending petition for modification. Therefore, if you have been laid off or fired because of COVID-19, the time to make a request to modify support is now.

The statutory basis to modify child support in Michigan is set forth in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.17 which provides:

(1) After entry of a judgment concerning annulment, divorce, or separate maintenance and on the petition of either parent, the court may revise and alter a judgment concerning the care, custody, maintenance, and support of some or all of the children, as the circumstances of the parents and the benefit of the children require.

Michigan Compiled Laws section 552.17(1)

Under Michigan law, a reduction of income is a sufficient change of circumstance to modify child support. As a result, if you have lost your job or are laid off and pay child support, you may be entitled to a reduction in your payment. If you receive child support, you may be entitled to an increase.

Similarly, the statutory right to modify alimony (spousal support) can be found in MCL 552.28. Similar to modifying child support, a modification of alimony requires a showing of sufficiently changed circumstances to warrant modification. (See: Schaeffer v. Schaeffer, 106 Mich. App 452 (1981))

As a result, if you have lost your job or are laid off and pay alimony, the time to modify support is now because there is no retroactive modification of support unless a petition to modify is pending. If a petition is pending, the effective date of the modification is the date the petition is filed. So time is of the essence.

About Findling Law

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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances. That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you Local: +1 (248) 399-3300 – toll free:   (877-YOUR FIRM)

After hours emergency?:  +1 (707) 968-7347

Or email me at:   Daniel@Findlinglaw.com By:  Daniel Findling

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