Michigan Child Support Laws

Michigan Child Support Laws are a function of both state and federal legislation. On the federal side, Title IV-D (Title 4) of the Social Security Act sets requirements for states to receive federal funds for child support programs. These programs, known as Title IV-D Programs, allow for parents to establish, review, and enforce child support, child care, and medical support provisions that are part of a family law case.

As noted, to take advantage of Title IV-D programs, there are several requirements which the parent must fulfill under the Social Security Act. First, they must provide a Social Security number to participate. Additionally, the parents must inform the proper office (generally the Friend of the Court) about life changes, such as a new address, phone number, a new job, if the number of minor children living with the parent changes, changes in insurance, if a parent applies for public assistance for themselves or a child, and any other court actions that may affect child support.

The Michigan Child Support Program allows for a person to make a claim for child support only if all of the following are true: they are either a parent or custodian of a child, the child is living in the claimant’s home, the child is dependent on the claimant, at least one parent is not living with the child, and there is a court order requiring child support payments from another party.

DHS, Friend of the Court, or hiring an attorney for help with child support law issues

Additionally, Michigan’s Office of Child Support, a part of the Department of Human Services, which oversees much of the Title IV-D Program, can provide services, or assist in the court process for: locating a parent, establishing paternity, requesting court orders regarding child support. The Michigan Friend of the Court, in addition to helping locate a non-custodial parent, can assist in reviewing and altering child support orders as necessary, enforcing court ordered child support, assisting in enforcing support between Michigan and other states, and collecting child support payments. However, they will not provide support for items such as spousal support, handling a party’s divorce, or providing legal advice on a family law matter.

Child support orders are crafted utilizing the Michigan Child Support Formula, or Child Support Guideline. The Guidelines look at several factors, including each parent’s income (and in some cases where a parent does not have income, the earning potential of that parent), the child custody and parenting time arrangements (specifically looking at the number of overnights each parent has with the child), the amount of any spousal support, other child support orders that either parent has involving other children, and the cost of any child care (such as a babysitter) and health care expenses for the child.

Once a child support order is in place, the support order remains in effect until changed, or until the minor child reaches 18 years of age, or reaches 19.5 years of age if the child has not graduated high school. This applies for each child individually, and support orders with children of different ages include sections showing the support amount as each one reach adulthood.

It’s helpful to schedule a consultation with a family lawyer if you think your child support case should be reviewed and changed

Child support order can be modified, and a request typically is received by the Friend of the Court to review the order. A party should only request a review if there is a change in circumstances, such as either parent changing jobs, or a change in parenting time for the child. Parents may also petition the court overseeing their case for a change in child support if they wish.

If you are dealing with Child Support issues, the Grand Rapids Law Group, PLLC looks forward to assisting you to resolve your legal issues.

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