How do I get an order for child support?
A petition (motion) asking the court to order child support must be filed with the county clerk. If both parties agree to the established support amount shown by the Michigan Child Support Formula, they may sign an agreement (stipulation). Once the agreement is put in the form of an order, presented to the court for judicial signature and filed with the clerk’s office it will become an order of support.
Do I need an attorney to get an order of support?
A party is not required to obtain legal counsel to file petitions, but it may be helpful when filing papers and following specific rules during a court hearing to be represented.
Does the Friend of the Court and the judge have to use the child support formula?
YES. However, a party may object to the Friend of the Court’s Child Support Recommendation and request a hearing before the court. The judge must state on record a different amount if the party objecting to the support recommendation, performed by the Friend of the Court using the Michigan Child Support Formula, proves to the court that the formula is “unjust or inappropriate”.
If I have been paying my child support and the custodial parent is not allowing parenting time, do I have to continue paying support?
YES. Parenting time and support are separate issues of a court order, with separate enforcement actions.
My court order states I must pay support through the Friend of the Court. Can I pay the other parent directly?
NO. You are under a court order that directs all support payments to be paid through the Friend of the Court office; therefore, any direct payment(s) to the other parent will be considered a gift. Support is monitored and enforced through the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System and on the first of each month the MiCSES system is programmed to charge your current monthly obligation and payments received are credited toward that monthly obligation. If you neglect to pay your support through the Friend of the Court as court ordered it will result in a “show cause” hearing for contempt and you may not receive credit for the direct payment(s).
The court speaks through its written orders; therefore, an amended order must be filed ‘with the clerk’s office before you decide to make a direct payment to the other parent.
Mail payments to: MiSDU
P0 Box 30351
Lansing, MI 48909-7851
Can I buy my child(ren) a gift instead of paying child support
NO. The child support provision defines the payer’s legal obligation. You can do more for your children, but you must first comply with the terms of the order. Any gifts purchased for your child(ren) will be in addition to court ordered child support.
End of the year statement for Income Tax purposes
The Friend of the Court can prepare an individual statement of your account on support payments received during the last calendar year. Please contact the friend of the court office in writing after January 15th There is a 24-hour waiting period before your information will be available for pick up or if you request this information to be mailed, you must provide an envelope with postage attached.