Michigan Child Support Laws



Single Parents, Get the Information you Need to Know to Collect Michigan Child Support for Your Children.


The Child Support Enforcement Office disburses about $30 million in child support each week. With over one million cases, Michigan has the second largest child support case load in the US.

The Child Support Enforcement System (MiCSES), offers assistance to parents or guardians who are applying for child support. If you are a Michigan resident interested in collecting child support payments, here is what you need to know to get started.

How To Establish Michigan Child Support Order
In the state of Michigan, the county's prosecuting attorney’s office is responsible for actions to establish child support. The friend of the court investigates requests for child support and he or she will make a recommendation to the prosecuting attorney on the findings of each particular case. Your local Michigan child Support Enforcement Office can help you establish a child support order with a referral to the prosecuting attorney's office.

Types of Child Support Laws
The court will set the amount and type of child support to be provided. The support order may be a part of an interim, temporary, permanent, or modified court order in a divorce, paternity action, child custody action, or separate child support action. There are three different types of child support that can be ordered:


1 Child support
2 Medical support
3 Childcare support

Michigan Child support
Michigan state law establishes the guidelines that are used to determine the amount of child support that can be set in each individual case, based on monthly net income. Child support generally is paid until the child turns eighteen. If, by age eighteen, the child has not yet finished high school, support will be ordered up to age 19 1/2, as long as he or she is enrolled in high school on a full time basis, and has a reasonable expectation of graduating.

Medical support
According to Michigan state law, one or both parents must obtain and maintain any health care coverage that is available to them at a reasonable cost, as a benefit of employment. Parents may also be ordered to pay any of the child’s medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. Medical support is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Child care support
An additional court order for childcare support may be available for parents who incur work-related childcare expenses. These expenses include childcare costs while the parent is working, looking for work, or enrolling in and attending an educational program that will improve employment opportunities.

How To Apply For Child Support
Applying for child support in Michigan is as simple as filling out an application. If you already have a court order for child support, contact your local friend of the court. You will find a phone listing for the friend of the court in the "Government" section of your phone directory, under County Government.

If you do not yet have a court order for child support, or if the other parent resides in a different state, contact your local Michigan Child Support Enforcement Officer toll-free at 1-866-540-0008. Although it is not necessary, you may wish to contact an attorney to help you apply for a child support order.

After you apply for child support services, it’s a good idea to stay actively involved in your case. Be sure to keep your local child support enforcement office advised of any changes that may affect your case, such as in your or the other parent's income or address.

How To Collect Child Support Payments
Income withholding is the most common method for child support collection in Michigan. Income withholding allows the child support payment to be deducted directly from the non-custodial parent's paycheck.

As of 1994, all new and modified child support orders were required to include a provision for income withholding unless both parents agreed on an alternative payment method. The employer then sends these funds to Michigan’s State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU).

Those who do not use income withholding to make their child support payments usually make their payments to the friend of the court. This system may change in the future, and those who make individual payments may soon be required to send payments directly to the MiSDU. But for now, individual payors should continue sending their payments to the friend of the court.

Once a payment is made, either to the MiSDU, or to the friend of the court, it will usually take 48 hours before the funds are dispersed to the payee. If you have questions about a child support payment that you paid or expected to receive, contact your local friend of the court.

How Michigan Child Support Orders Are Enforced
Both federal and Michigan state laws allow for a variety of enforcement measures to be used to ensure compliance with a child support order. These include consumer credit reporting, driver's license suspension, occupational and recreational license suspension, passport denial, tax refund interception, liens, court action.

How to Make Changes to a Court Order
Child support orders can be reviewed by the friend of the court, every two years, or anytime there has been a significant change in the financial circumstances for either parent. The friend of the court may request information from the either parent, or their employers such as address, social security number, date of birth, wages earned, and dependant health care coverage available as a benefit of employment.

If you would like to initiate a child support review, contact your local friend of the court for the appropriate forms and instructions. An experienced attorney can also help you to file a request for review.


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