When you get divorced, most parents want to ensure they provide their children with the financial and emotional support they need. At this critical and emotional time, your child needs support from both parents, even if you no longer live under the same roof.

It’s vital that you, and your spouse, work together to support your children. If both parents are committed to emotional and financial support, their children will still receive the chance to reach their full potential.

The amount of child support ordered in Michigan is determined by the established guidelines established by the Supreme Court. These guidelines are not only based on your monthly net income but also on which parent may have custody of the children and the time the children spend with each parent. Other factors include the cost of health insurance for the child.

The Michigan court thoroughly reviews any child support agreements to ensure the guidelines are applied correctly and that the child support amount is adequate. However, there are cases in which the court may decide not just to follow these guidelines, this is called a deviation. Also you can negotiate child support numbers to some extent based on your specific circumstances.

If you are ordered to pay a child support order (which your spouse will collect), usually, it will be deducted from your employment income. This is commonly called income withholding and will be done by your employer.

Your employers must send the withholdings directly to the MiSDU (Michigan State Disbursement Unit). If your employer does not do income withholding, or you don’t have access to it, you have other ways to pay, such as:

  • Check, money order or cashiers, or certified check.
  • Credit card – All major credit cards such as Visa or Discover.
  • Directly online at www.misdu.com.
  • By phone at 877-543-2660.
  • Western Union or “PayNearMe” locations.

You, and your family lawyer, will determine what means of collection is best for you, but no matter how you pay, the funds must go directly to the MiSDU.

You would not make direct payments to the other parent unless there is a court order or some specific reason to do so and you meet the requirements of direct payment.

How Is My Child Support Disbursed To My Spouse For My Children?

The state of Michigan demands that your children receive their support payments quickly, and most parents want it that way also. If there is any delay in child support payments, it could severely impact the receiver’s budget and your children’s wellbeing.

In Michigan, most all child support payments must be disbursed within two days of receipt. The Michigan State Disbursement Unit (SDU) is a single office whose sole duty is to receive and send out payments for child support.

Also, in Michigan, the MiSDU must send child support payments electronically to the recipient.

Electronic disbursement means receiving child support payments by direct deposit to your checking or savings bank account or state-issued debit card. This debit card is only used for your child support payments. As the “custodial party,” you can choose which option works best. State electronic payment provides a safe and efficient way to receive your child support payments.

Nothing is simple from the beginning of divorce to the final details, especially disbursement and collections. Once Michigan finalizes your divorce, changing your divorce order decrees is challenging. Obtaining advice and guidance from your Michigan divorce lawyer is mandatory. They will protect your rights and the rights of your children.

If Child Parenting Time (or Custody) Changes, Could My Payments Change?

Commonly if circumstances arise that “significantly” change your parenting time, it may also be a reason to petition to change your child support payments. If you meet the requirements to change parenting time, and increase your parenting time, this can be a factor in lowering your child support payment.

Some states have mandated child support laws that make modifying your child’s support based on changing parenting patterns easier. However, these changes will authorize the Michigan court to re-calculate your child’s support according to “actual and current” parenting patterns that are now in place.

“Timeshare” is a term that refers to the amount of time you and your spouse have the primary responsibility for your children. The court will thoroughly analyze the circumstances around the change in parenting time and determine which parent currently has primary responsibility. They consider many factors such as who gets the children when they get sick, who transports them to and from school, who pays for their education, who attends school functions, and much more.

You must note that the advice and legal expertise of your Southfield or Sterling Heights family lawyer will be invaluable if this situation arises, as it could alter the entire matter involving custody and who pays or receives child support payments.

Do Michigan Child Support Laws and Regulations Change?

Like most states, Michigan is constantly updating its divorce, child custody, child support laws, and more.

As a parent, you know that the cost of raising your child increases as the cost-of-living changes. Childcare costs go up, as do medical expenses, food, medical costs, and housing.

Michigan commonly updates its child support formulas every four years.

For example, around 2021, there were numerous and notable changes to Michigan’s child support formula, such as.

  • Increasing medical coverage costs for your child.
  • Permitting parents who cannot earn sufficient income may be able to reduce their child support payments for a period. Possibly making it a zero amount if needed.

Of course, there are strict rules to follow with any child support changes, and parents who may qualify for these changes include;

  • Those who are in jail.
  • Those who are seriously injured or contract a debilitating disease and cannot work.
  • Those who now have a disability or become mentally incapacitated.

The critical thing to remember here is that your local Michigan family law firm will be wholly versed in any changes that may affect your child support payments and use this information to fight for your rights and those of your children. Whether you collect child support or pay it, you must know the most up-to-date legal facts for your good and that of your children.

What Should Someone Do If Their Ex-wife Refuses To Make Required Child Support Payments?

Child support is enforceable by a number of methods. The Friend of the Court is set up to keep accounting and take enforcement action against payers of support. A payee should contact the Friend of the Court and seek enforcement against the other parent who is refusing or otherwise failing to pay.

What Happens When She Falls Behind On Child Support Payments?

The Friend of the Court will seek an Order to Show Cause which would be served on the non-paying parent. That parent would be required to appear before the court and explain why she should not be held in contempt of court, and what enforcement mechanisms are necessary to get her caught up in support.

Should the non-paying parent fail to appear at the Show Cause hearing, a bench warrant would typically be ordered for their arrest. Chronic failure to pay child support in cases where the Court deems the payer able to pay may lead to charges by the county prosecutor of felony non-support under Michigan’s criminal code.

The Friend of the Court is often very busy and backed up in these support actions, and it is usually much quicker to hire your own attorney to enforce the support order. Your attorney would obtain an order for the payer to show cause and have her personally served.

The father’s attorney would seek sanctions and attorney fees against the mother for failure to pay. Sanctions could include the suspension of the mother’s driver’s license, occupational license, or passport, as well as reporting to a credit agency, garnishment of bank accounts, placing a lien on the payer’s home, among other enforcement options.

Under What Circumstances Can A Temporary Or Permanent Modification Be Made To Child Support Payments?

Child support is always subject to modification on the basis of a change of circumstances. The parties are entitled to regular review of the current order by the Friend of the Court every 3 years, but can always file a motion with the court to increase or decrease support and related expenses if there has been a change of circumstances. This could include a loss of employment, layoff, injury or illness, change of jobs, retirement, or many other factors.

It is important to note that child support is typically not subject to retroactive modification, which means the court will not order a decrease or an increase back to when circumstances changed, but rather will only go back to when the motion is filed and served upon the other party. Therefore, it is important to file a motion as soon as possible after the change of circumstances has occurred in order to avoid being subject to an inaccurate support amount in the interim.

It is common in cases of lay off that support would be modified based upon unemployment benefits with a requirement that the person paying support report to the Friend of the Court when she gets back to work so that support can be re-adjusted.

If you’re preparing for divorce, contact the American Divorce Association for Men for a FREE initial telephone consultation at 248-356-ADAM (2326), and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

I Do Have an Issue With My Child Support; What Should I Do?

The entire Michigan divorce process itself is personally and emotionally challenging to say the least. Additionally, dealing with the stress of making (or collecting) regular child support payments can be overwhelming. Also, our society and our divorce laws change constantly, so what may have once been fair may no longer hold.

Divorce may change your life, but you still want your child to be well cared for, which is foremost in Michigan States’ court decisions. It is mandatory to consult and work with a Southfield or Sterling Heights family law firm with an extensive and winning history of helping divorced parents make their new lives work.

If you have issues with child support you collect or disburse, consult with them as soon as possible. They will successfully guide you down the right path and help give you and your children a fresh start.