If ex petitions for support to be reduced because of a hardship, can I ask court to update all numbers used in child support formula?

My ex is taking me to court in an effort to get support reduced. She said she is working less hours because of chronic illness (She has not told me what the illness is; she told me it was personal).

She has slowly been reducing her financial responsibilities over the past few years and I haven't taken her to court. So I am surprised that she's petitioned to reduce support.

For example, she gets a health care credit in the support calculation, but has dropped son from her insurance; I now pay for 100 percent of his coverage.

She's supposed to help with childcare, but I pay 100 percent of childcare cost.

The judge even tallied our overnights wrong at the initial support hearing (which I can understand since it was added up quickly in court)—in the calculation, ex gets credit for 28 overnights that she doesn't have. So she has 102 overnights; not 130.

I've even had two children since the support was last done and my state gives a credit for additional children.

I've wanted to update, but didn't want to take time off for court.

Well, now we have a hearing next month; so I'm going to court.

Could I have all of our information updated to accurately reflect the current situation when at court?

Or would that be frowned upon in court since she said she is experiencing hardship and she is the one who petitioned?

Thanks for advice.


For the record: She's actually petitioned to"pay no child support until back at full time work." She feels it is son's best interest to pay no support so she can instead use that money for him while he's in her care. But I am sure it won't be allowed.

Update 2:

Michigan gives credit for additional children. It's called the additional children credit; it is based on a percentage formula.

Update 3:

I previously had sole custody. But the state I am in believes in joint custody. When a new judge was assigned our case two years ago, that judge - without ex even petitioning for a custody change - opened our case, presided over a hearing and awarded joint custody to my ex, but naming me the primary physical custody parent. My lawyer never saw anything like it. We still have that judge, so I am not comfortable petitioning for sole custody at this time. But that is a subject for another thread...

9 Answers

  • lucy
    Lv 7
    2 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    I attached site of the child support calculator, which should show what it is based in (each) state.

    Does her job pay for sick time or PTO? Or does it only pay for hours worked and if not working then less pay, since working less hours. Now as for the time off, even won’t state the reason, but depending on how many days off, the employer might require a doctors note, or (not). But, if too many days off, then the employer could (choose) to let them go, since not available for work.

    Now for her wages, she should have her 2016 taxes that shows her gross/net pay for last year, that if you divide it by 52 could get her average weekly wage and a current pay stub that would also show the gross/net pay from January 1 to present that could be divided up for the (average) weekly wages. So will need to calculate how many weeks from January 1 to the date of the hearing. Also, depending on what her employer pays, if they pay PTO or sick time, should show on the paystub (how) many hours paid for.

    You will need to document (when) you took over the health insurance and the child care with proof of payments to bring to court.

    As for the overnights, do you have a listing of each time, like could list on a spreadsheet or a word document that she had the child on what days and (each) month and total each by month for the final number. The overnights my guess will be the hardest to prove.

    Child support is based on both parents income, plus # of children, and in some states gives credit for health insurance and child care, but in others may (only) take a (%) per the total income, thus look at the state where you live on the site to see how they base it.

    It is not surprising that you have let this slide, since guessing she complained that their hours cut, or could not afford insurance/child care, so you picked it up, only for them now to decide to modify it lower, thus they want to pay even less. Either way, child support can be modified less or more, so even if things go her way, then later can come back later and request it to be increased.

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  • Liz
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    If you're not consulting an actual lawyer, you're bound to be screwed over. Getting your legal "advice" from random people on the internet is such a dumb idea.

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  • 2 years ago

    If I were you, I would hire a bad *ss lawyer to come down hard on her in court. She is so chronically ill that she cannot possibly care for two children. Fight for sole custody. If you don't want custody, then hire a lawyer anyway. You need more help than what I can say here.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience.
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  • 2 years ago

    Yes, that is exactly what you should do.

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  • 2 years ago

    Let me guess, you are the "she"?

    What state gives credit for additional children? None do.

    The other party has the right to know what "hardship" you are suffering if you are using that as a basis for reducing child support.

    You can ask for the sun, the moon, and the stars, too, but will you get them? That would be up to the judge.

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  • 2 years ago

    Of course you can update it.

    Just because she files for a modification to have the support lowered, does not mean its guaranteed. The judge could just as easily decide to INCREASE her amount based on the fact that you are now paying all of the healthcare and childcare costs instead of the original agreement of half.

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  • 2 years ago

    The court will re calculate all the numbers. So yes, you should submit the new numbers.

    In Michigan it's not possible to go to 0 support. They have a minimal amount.

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  • 2 years ago

    Once she opens the door with her petition, you can submit a counter-claim or your own petition. And I wouldn't think that she can claim illness without good (legal) evidence, and you could cross-examine her and her witnesses on that. Judges know the difference between claims, non-allowable evidence, and allowable evidence. Even if she swore that she was really sick, you could ask for a examination by a doctor.

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  • 2 years ago

    I am all for the female getting the financial and childcare support she needs as I was once one of those woman but from what you say it needs to be re-calculated but I would give them the information before the court date so they can work it out well in advance, Good Luck

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