1. How do I get an order for support in Washtenaw County?
A petition requesting the Court to grant an order for support must be filed with the Washtenaw County Circuit Court. If both parties agree and sign an agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), that agreement will be entered as a support order if it is approved by the Court.
2. Do I need to have an attorney to get an order for support in Michigan?
A Michigan family law attorney is not required in order to file a petition for support in a divorce action. However, a Michigan divorce lawyer may be helpful when filing papers and following specific rules.
3. Does the Washtenaw County Circuit Court judge have to use the Child Support Guideline or the Friend of the Court recommendation when setting support orders?
The Michigan Child Support Guidelines and the Friend of the Court recommendation are used to assist the judge in making a decision concerning support amounts. The judge does not have to follow the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court recommendation or guideline when making a final decision.
4. If I have been paying my child support in Michigan and the custodial parent is not allowing visitation, do I have to keep paying support?
Yes, in Michigan visitation and support are separate orders of the Court, with separate enforcement procedures
5. The non-custodial parent is not paying support in my Washtenaw County case. What can I do?
Contact the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court and request enforcement if the back support equals payments of four weeks or more. A Michigan family law attorney may be contacted to file an enforcement action.
6. The payer of support is self-employed and not making his or her support payments. What can the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court do?
Income withholding orders in Michigan are not usually effective when a payer is self-employed. In these cases, the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court may seek enforcement using one or more of the following options:
- Petitioning the Court for a show cause hearing.
- Submitting the payer's name for tax intercept.
- Filing a lien on the payer's property.
7. My Michigan court order states that I am to pay support through the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court Office. Can I pay the support to the custodial parent directly in Michigan?
Not without changing the Court order. In Michigan, support is paid through the Friend of the Court in order that an official record of payments is maintained. To credit payments made directly to the custodial parent, a Court order must be pbtained that directs the Friend of the Court to credit your account for a specific amount.
8. If Michigan child support has been ordered by the Court and either parent has a major increase or decrease in income, what can be done?
The Michigan Child Support Guideline requires the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court to consider both parents’ income when making child support recommendations. If either party has had a large increase or decrease in income, they may wish to contact the Friend of the Court to request a review of the support order. If both parties can mutually agree to a change in the support order, and both sign a written agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), that agreement will be entered as an order, if approved by the Court.
9. Does a Michigan Friend of the Court have the right to deduct statutory service fees from a Michigan child support payment?
Michigan Court Rules provide that the Friend of the Court may deduct unpaid fees from any support money paid after the fee is due (January 2nd and July 2nd of each year).
10. If I am receiving public assistance, do I still get child support in Michigan?
No, all child support payments paid while receiving public assistance must be sent by the Michigan Friend of the Court to the Department of Human Services. However, if the payer is making payments, the payee is entitled to receive from the Department of Human Services up to the first $50.00 of any child support paid each month. Please contact the local Department of Human Services support specialist for more information.
11. Is the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court responsible for making sure that child support money is being spent on the child?
The law does not give the Friend of the Court the right to question how child support payments are spent.