For parents going through divorce, chances are a child support order will be an issue to discuss. Even when parents share equal parenting time, child support may still be ordered under the Michigan Child Support Formula. This means that the parents will become very familiar with Michigan’s Child Support System.
The state’s goals and reasons
The goal and purpose for Michigan’s Child Support System is to ensure the general care and needs of a child are met, along with assistance with a child’s medical support, and child care expenses.
Michigan believes that regular and on-time child support plays an integral role in this. Specifically, regular support decreases parental conflict and increases the likelihood of non-custodial parental involvement. This ensures an equitable financial partnership between the parents and helps ensure their child (or children) reach their full potential.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child Support is the first place to begin. MDHHS connects custodial parents to public assistance and can help get a child support case started, if you do not already have a Grand Rapids or West Michigan family law attorney to help you.
Local prosecuting attorney and the court system
For fathers looking to establish their paternity and custodial parents looking for a child support court order, your county’s local prosecuting attorney and family court system are where to go. There are programs and assistance available for those who cannot afford a family law attorney, but for those using a Grand Rapids, Michigan, divorce attorney, they can help navigate this system.
Michigan State Disbursement Unit
Once the child support order has been granted and processed at the state level, the Michigan State Disbursement Unit manages the actual payments themselves. This includes getting the payments from the non-custodial parent and dispersing them to the custodial parent. If there are issues with this process, parents can contact them directly or use their attorney to handle inquiries.
Friend of the court
Finally, after the issuance of the child support and custody orders, the Friend of the Court may also be utilized. This entity reviews and monitors how both parties follow these and any other family court orders. When there are changes in the parents’ or child’s life that necessitate changes to the court orders, the Friend of the Court may be able to assist.