52nd Judicial Circuit Court-Family Division
Office of the Friend of the Court
Children have a right to both emotional and financial support. Child support is the on-going periodic payments of money from one parent to the other parent (or the child’s legal custodian) ordered by the Circuit Court. Child support protects children from the economic impact of divorce or separation. It is a parental contribution for the child’s basic living expenses, including food, clothing, shelter, health care, and education expenses. It ensures children have a minimum standard of living and reduces the need for public assistance resources.
The Friend of the Court administers child support cases under the IV-D program in accordance with statute, state and federal policies, and IRS regulations.
Child support calculations are prepared in accordance with the Michigan Child Support Formula. The formula includes consideration of the annual overnight parenting time schedule, each parent’s gross income, childcare expenses, and healthcare coverage costs, among other factors.
Child support orders may be reviewed once every 36 months. A support review may also be requested within the review period if a party experiences a significant change in circumstances. A child support review may be initiated by the Friend of the Court office or requested by a party.
The Friend of the Court is required to enforce the written orders of the Court. It does not enforce verbal agreements between parties. There are a number of remedies that may be used to ensure children receive financial support in accordance with court orders.
Income Withholding Order: A garnishment notice to employers or other sources of income to withhold support payments from monies due.
Income Tax Intercepts: A garnishment of federal and/or state income tax refunds.
Civil Contempt Proceedings: Also called a “show cause hearing” this is a court hearing in which a payer is required to appear and explain why he or she should not be found in contempt for failure to pay. If found in contempt by the Court, it may result in jail time.
Financial Institution Data Match: A seizure of funds from bank accounts.
Liens: Encumbrance or seizure of real or personal property.
License Suspension: A suspension of privilege that may include driver’s license, occupational or professional licenses, and/or sporting licenses (hunting, fishing, or recreational).
Credit Bureau Reporting: Negative payment history reported to credit reporting agencies.
Passport Denial: The inability to obtain or renew a passport to allow travel outside of the United States.
Felony criminal charges
Parties can obtain assistance with child support issues from an attorney, the friend of the court office, and/or the process of mediation. Parents can also work through the court system to modify child support provisions by filing the proper paperwork.
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