Child support is a crucial aspect of Michigan family law. When parents are no longer together as a couple but have a child, it is important that the child’s needs be met. That includes a home, clothing, medical care, dental care, extracurricular activities and more. Paying and receiving child support can sometimes lead to disagreements. Perhaps the supporting parent believes he or she is being asked to pay too much based on financial circumstances and needs. Conversely, the receiving parent might believe the payments are insufficient. Another issue is if the payments are late or not paid at all. Having legal assistance can be imperative regardless of the perspective.
Understanding exceptions to income withholding orders in Michigan
The state tries to simplify child support by withholding income from the paying parent from the start. If the parent has a conventional job and is employed by a company or an individual, the support will be taken out of their paycheck. In some cases, however, the person is self-employed, unemployed or has the type of job where there is no regular paycheck. That person can make the payments directly to the other parent or pay the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) which will send the money to the custodial parent. There are exceptions to income withholding orders if the situation calls for it.
In general, there will be an immediate income withholding notice (IWN). The court can decide that there is good cause for it not to take immediate effect. It can adhere to a court order because the parties have come to their own written agreement. Or there can be an opt-out of Friend of the Court (FOC) services. Regarding “good cause,” the court will need a written finding as to why it will not be in the child’s best interests to have the income withheld; there must be proof that timely payments of previous orders were made; and the paying parent agrees to tell the FOC of their current source of income (SOI) and their health coverage.
Parents with child support concerns should consider their options
Child support is fundamentally necessary, but there are often problems with it. Income withholding is used to ensure payments are made. Still, given the potential differences in every case, there can be factors that make withholding a challenge. Understanding when there may be a withholding order, if exceptions apply and how to settle a dispute either through negotiation or by going to court, it may be wise to have legal advice to determine the preferable course of action.