The Friend of the Court, in cooperation with the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU,) is required to collect, record, and distribute support payments as Ordered by the Court. It is imperative that you keep your address current with the Friend of the Court Office. Notice of all enforcement actions are sent to the Payer of support. These notices give you an opportunity to resolve an enforcement action prior to it being levied against you. The Friend of the Court is required to send notices to the last known address. If you do not keep your address current and the notice is returned to the Friend of the Court Office, the enforcement remedy will still be levied against you. Please keep your address current, so you remain informed of all proceedings regarding your case.
Almost all support orders include a provision for immediate income withholding from the payer’s employer to the MiSDU. A notice is sent to the payer’s employer to withhold the amount of ordered support plus statutory fees and for the employer to transmit those funds withheld from the employee to the MiSDU within 3 working days of the pay date. Income withholding notices are printed from the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System (MICSES) and may include an amount over and above the amount of current monthly child support for the collection of arrears as defined by the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual.
The Income Withholding Notice sent to the employer contains important information about the duty of the employer to withhold payments from an employee and how to calculate support under special circumstances such as the employee not earning enough wages to cover the amount of the Income Withholding Order. A copy of the Income Withholding Notice sent to a payer’s employer is also sent to the payer. A copy is also sent to the payee with the payer’s employer information blocked from view.
Show Cause Hearing
If you do not pay support as ordered, the Court may order you to appear and explain why you should not be held in contempt of Court for failure to pay. If the Court finds that you are in contempt, the Court can order punishment of up to 45 days in jail for a first contempt and up to 90 days for a second or subsequent contempt. If you fail to appear for a Show Cause Hearing, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
If your child support arrearage exceeds two months’ obligation, the amount of arrearage will be reported to credit reporting agencies unless you pay the entire arrearage or request a hearing within 21 days after the date of the notice. The Michigan Child Support Enforcement System (MiCSES) sends an automated notice of intent to report by mail to the address on file at the Friend of the Court Office. The notice explains the process and your rights. Please read this and any notice sent from MiCSES carefully. This is a prime example of why it is imperative that you keep your address current with the Friend of the Court Office.
If your arrearage exceeds two months’ obligation, by operation of law, liens can be placed on your real and personal property. Your property can be encumbered or seized if your arrearage exceeds 2 months’ obligation. The local Friend of the Court Office cannot assist you once a levy or lien has been placed on your property or your property has been seized. If your property has been encumbered or seized, you must contact the Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) Lien/Levy Unit of the Office of Child Support at (517) 241-8507.
Tax Refund Intercept
If your arrearage is $150.00 or more, your state income tax will be intercepted and applied to your arrearage. If your arrearage is $500.00 or more, your federal income tax will be intercepted and applied to your arrearage. Federal Regulations prohibit Friend of the Court staff from disclosing IRS tax information.
If your arrearage is $2500.00 or more, your passport can be denied or revoked.
If you have an arrearage, your lottery winnings can be taken.