How to get an Order for Child Support
- First, you must file a case with the Clerk of the Court.
- If you already have filed a case but no support has been set, then you must file a motion asking the Court to set child support.
- If both parties agree to the amount of support as established by the Michigan Child Support Formula, you may make an appointment with the FOC to assist you in preparing a Consent Order.
- If you have an agreed Order then no hearing will be necessary to establish or change the support obligation. However, BOTH parties must sign the agreed Order or it will not be accepted. Further, if the agreed Order does not follow the Michigan Child Support Formula, you must also submit a Deviation Addendum that specifically says why it does not follow the Formula. You must set out why the Formula is unfair and inappropriate in your case.
- If a party is receiving public assistance for the minor child(ren), no deviations from the Formula will be approved by agreement of the parties.
- You must request a hearing on the matter. Contact the FOC for instructions on requesting a hearing under these circumstances. To find out more information to change a support order, go to the State Court Administrative Web Page.
Child Support FAQs
- If my minor child is adopted, marries, or enters the military service, what happens to my child support order?
When any of these events occur, the court will grant a motion stopping the current child support and/or the Friend of the Court may make the adjustment. Overdue support must still be paid unless the arrears are waived by the party to whom they are owed. In this regard, any money due and owing to the State can not be waived by the parties and must by repaid. Copies of adoption orders, marriage records, or military service documents should be provided to the Friend of the Court.
- How do I get information about my Friend of the Court child support account?
You can automatically access general information about your account by dialing 1-877-543-2660. By calling this number you can find out about:
- the amount and distribution of the last payment,
- the amount and distribution of the last three payments,
- balance information,
- the amount and date the last Order of Income Withholding was sent to the source of income,
- the date, time and location of any upcoming Order to Show Cause hearing, and
- bench warrant information.
- How can I make online payments, obtain direct deposit forms, PIN change forms, or obtain a temporary coupon to make a payment?
The Michigan State Disbursement Unit Website will be able to assist you with these types of items as well as several others.
- What if I pay the other party directly but my court order says that I must pay through the Friend of the Court or the Michigan State Disbursement Unit?
If you don’t change your order, you may not get credit for the payments made.
- How will I receive my support payments if they are to be made through the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU)?
All support payments, except those specifically exempted under law, will be distributed electronically. This means that payments will be deposited directly into a personal checking or savings bank account or via a US Bank ReliaCard Visa debit card. You choose the option that best suits you. The law allows exemptions to electronic disbursements if any of the following conditions exist:
- Physical or mental disability barriers
- Language or literacy barriers
- Distance of 30 miles or more between your home or work and your bank or the closest ATM
Requests for exceptions are subject to verification. If you believe that you qualify for an exemption, contact the MiSDU debit card information line at 1-877-464-3324.
- Can I stop paying support if the other party is not allowing my parenting time?
No. Support and parenting time are two separate parts of the court order. Disobeying one part of the order is not justification to disobey another part of the order. Both support and parenting time violations use similar enforcement procedures. For more detailed information, contact the Friend of the Court office.
- Can the Friend of the Court make the other party give an accounting of how support money is spent?
No. The Friend of the Court has no legal authority to require an accounting of how support money is spent.
- What do I do if the other parent is not paying support as ordered?
If you have not opted out from Friend of the Court services and support is over one month behind, then you should contact your assigned Friend of the Court Case Manager. If you have opted out of FOC services, or desire to enforce your order yourself, you may file your own enforcement action or contact a private attorney to help start an enforcement action.
- If my child is over 18 but still in school, can I continue to get child support?
Perhaps. Child support generally stops when a child reaches age 18. However, if certain conditions are met, support can continue up to age 19 1/2. To have support continue past age 18, the law requires that the child:
- attend high school on a full-time basis
- have a reasonable expectation of completing sufficient credits to graduate before age 19 1/2 at the latest; and
- be living on a full time basis either with the payee of support or at an institution
If you child turns 18 and you don’t advise the Friend of the Court that support should continue beyond age 18 because the conditions to continue have been met, then the support obligation will automatically be stopped.
- What if I can’t pay all of my arrears but want to make alternate arrangements to pay with the court?
There are methods to allow for repayment agreements to be entered by the Court. However, certain conditions must first be met.
- Do I get child support if I am receiving public assistance (TANF or FIP)?
If you are receiving cash assistance then your child support payments are re-directed to the State so long as you are receiving TANF or FIP benefits. If you are receiving food stamps, medicaid benefits and/or child care subsidy, your child support will be paid to you.