There is an objective formula that is in place in Michigan when it comes to determining child support. The three main factors involved – your income, the other party’s income, and the number of overnights the child(ren) will spend at your residence and at the other party’s home – come together to create a non-negotiable number. This is the amount of child support that one party pays to the other.
The other legal constant is that one party will have custody of the child and the other party will pay child support. It’s understandable that divorcing couples – particularly those who are not divorcing amicably or who are already having financial issues – will worry about whether or not their child support will be delivered in full and in a timely manner.
Income Withholding in Michigan
In the state of Michigan, it is required by law that any divorce case that involves child support is subject to an income withholding order which is entered into the final judgment of a divorce.
In the simplest terms, this means that the employer of the party who will be paying child support is ordered to deduct the determined child support amount from that person’s payment and submit it to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU).
This could be interpreted as “forcing” someone to pay child support. But MiSDU is actually intended to make life easier for divorcing parties by regularly disbursing the child support payments, tracking payments that are in arrears, and so on.
Michigan Divorce and Child Support Modification
However, there are always circumstances that can arise which alter the way child support is calculated and affect how much money an ex-spouse will receive. Job loss is the biggest factor, and in the case of such a big change, a child support modification may be in order.
Whatever the situation surrounding child support modification, any changes cannot occur outside of the courtroom or without the jurisdiction of the judge who was assigned to your divorce case when your divorce papers were filed. The judge will determine when or if child support modification is warranted.
Take Precautions with Child Support
Too often, problems receiving child support stem from unwise decisions made by the divorcing parties. There are couples who believe their divorce will be amicable and therefore choose to opt out of the Friend of the Court in Michigan when it comes to child support and income withholding. They believe they can always manage money issues between themselves without legal intervention.
Unfortunately, situations and divorces may not always remain amicable, and ultimately child support can become a serious problem between former spouses. Financial situations can change. It is always the smart choice to take advantage of the free service that is the Friend of the Court.