Michigan Child Support

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Child support is defined as the monetary contribution that a parent makes to meet the basic requirements of his/her child, when that parent is not living with the child. It becomes a part of court order in many divorce cases. In USA, child support rules and procedures are formed to provide justice to children of divorced parents. Divorced parents have to pay court-ordered amounts and thus they share their financial responsibilities towards their children. This is true for the state of Michigan also. Here the courts follow the child support program known as IV-D Program and determine the amount to be disbursed as child maintenance. This program provides different services related to Michigan divorce child support like establishing paternity, collecting and processing support payments, locating parents, enforcing and adjusting orders etc.

Divorced parents who have to go through child maintenance procedures must know the various aspects of child support services and payments.

Persons who are eligible to receive Child Support

Not every person is eligible for receiving such services. A person can receive the support amount if all of the following apply:

  • He/ she is the parent of the minor child or is the custodial parent
  • If he/she is eligible to receive the payment according to the orders of the court
  • Anyone or both of the child's parents is unwilling to live with the child.
  • The child lives in that person's home.
  • That person shoulders the financial responsibilities of the child.

Application for Michigan Divorce Child Support Services

In order to apply for child subsidy services, a person must complete and submit DHS-1201 i.e. IV-D Child Support Services Application/Referral form. For that the following conditions must be fulfilled.

  • The person has received Child Development and Care (CDC) benefits and/or Food Assistance Program (FAP) from the Department of Human Services. However, this person does not receive Medicaid or Family Independence Program (FIP)
  • The person does not presently have a child maintenance court order through a prosecuting attorney or friend of the court (FOC)
A person should not apply for support services in the following conditions:
  • This person has received or is receiving Medicaid benefits and/or FIP from the Department of Human Services. If a person is already receiving these 2 benefits, this person is automatically eligible for child subsidy amount. The caseworker at the Department of Human Services automatically refers the person to the Child Support Specialist in the Office of Child Support.
  • The person has a court order for child subsidy through any prosecuting attorney or friend of the court.

Issue of Child Support payments

The Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) collects and distributes all support payments. As per Income Withholding Orders (IWN) the employers can forward the withheld payments to this Unit.

Alternatively, individual payers can also send their payments to this Unit in one of the following ways:

  • By credit card on the MiSDU website
  • Via the Internet on the MiSDU website
  • By sending a mail to
    • Michigan State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 30351, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7851

The custodial parent procures the payments in the following ways:

  • By means of deposit in a child support debit card
  • Via direct deposit in a personal savings or checking account

Relevant information regarding Michigan Divorce Child Support

  • If any one or both the parents in a support case change their address, they must send an updated address form to the friend of the court (FOC),
  • The FOC in the county that has jurisdiction over the case manages child support enforcement.
  • The child support program is handled by 3 people. If a person has any concerns, he/she must approach the following:
    • Prosecuting attorneys
    • The FOC
    • The Office of Child Support
  • Any support order can be modified in one of the following 2 ways:
    • Filing a support modification motion in the court
    • The FOC automatically reviews each support order after every 36 months.

Enforcement Measures

In Michigan, the FOC is responsible for enforcing orders related to child subsidy. The enforcement measures are listed below:

  • Federal and state tax refund offset
  • Income withholding
  • Initiating liens or levy against real property, financial assets, insurance claims, personal property etc.
  • Suspension or revoking of recreational, professional or driver's license
  • National medical support notice
  • Reporting to consumer credit reporting agencies
  • Denial of passport if the past dues of support for children amount to $2500
  • A QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) or EDRO (Eligible Domestic Relations Order) can be issued.
  • Bench Warrant or Show Cause
  • Surcharge
  • Felony or criminal charges

To sum up it can be said that Michigan divorce child support guidelines are directed to your child's well-being. If you don't pay the support amount for your child, your partner or the child's guardian may find it difficult to meet the expenses of the family. You will also be subjected to enforcement measures. To avoid all these, you must abide by the court orders and pay the support amount in time.

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