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What Are My Options for Child Support Enforcement in Michigan?

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County family law attorney child support

All parents are required to provide financial support for their children. When parents are married or cohabitating with each other, they will work together to meet their family’s needs and cover ongoing expenses related to their children. However, when parents are divorced or separated,  they will usually need to make arrangements to ensure that they are both contributing to their children’s needs. Child support orders will set a monthly amount that parents will be required to pay, and in most cases, the non-custodial parent will make payments to the custodial parent. If a parent has failed to meet their obligations to pay child support, the other parent will want to be sure to understand how they can enforce the court’s orders and receive the support their children need.

Child Support Enforcement Methods

Parents are required to make all child support payments as ordered by the court. Any missed payments will continue to be owed, and interest may apply until past-due amounts are fully paid. A parent who receives child support may take legal action to enforce the other parent’s obligations. The court may use a variety of methods to collect the amount owed, including:

  • Income withholding - In most cases, an initial child support order will include a withholding order that will be sent to the paying parent’s employer(s), instructing them to withhold a certain amount of income each pay period. However, if a person changes jobs, this automatic withholding may not be implemented at their new employer. When a parent is behind on child support payments, additional income withholding orders may be used to collect both past-due and ongoing child support. Income withholding orders may also apply to unemployment benefits, disability benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, or insurance claims.

  • Tax refunds - A payor’s state or federal tax refunds can be intercepted to pay child support that is owed.

  • Property liens - The court may place liens on a payor’s property or assets, including real estate property, financial accounts, or insurance claims.

  • Pension plans - If a payor receives pension benefits or has paid into a pension account, these benefits may be used to pay child support that is owed. To do so, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) may be created for private pension accounts, or an Eligible Domestic Relations Order may be created for pension plans through the state or federal government.

In child support enforcement cases, the court may issue an order to show cause or a bench warrant that will require a payor to appear before the court and explain why they have not met their obligations. The court may also impose a number of other penalties for non-payment of child support, including suspending a person’s driver’s license, hunting and fishing licenses, and/or professional licenses; revoking or denying renewal of a person’s passport; placing a boot on a person’s car, and reporting non-payment to credit bureaus. In some cases, a person may even face felony criminal charges for non-payment of support.

Contact Our Farmington Hills Child Support Lawyers

If you are owed child support, you will want to take the necessary steps to ensure that you will continue receiving the payments that will allow you to meet your children’s needs. Elkouri Heath, PLC can help you understand your rights and legal options in Michigan, and we will make sure your children can receive ongoing financial support. Contact our Oakland County family law attorneys today at 248-344-9700 to arrange a complimentary consultation.





Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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