When a Michigan judge tells you that you must pay child support, it is not a request. It is a court order, and if you do not comply, you could face many consequences, further jeopardizing your financial situation.
In all circumstances, do not simply stop making your child support payments. Not only will this put your children at risk of not having their basic needs met, but it will also upset the judge in your case and likely lead to the implementation of one or more enforcement actions.
How is child support enforced in Michigan?
The enforcement of child support in Michigan is usually the Friend of the Court’s (FOC) responsibility. The FOC has many enforcement and collection methods at its disposal. In most cases, it will start with the least harsh collection technique. If this fails to work, the FOC will impose other enforcement methods until you comply with your child support orders.
- Withholding a portion of your income
- Intercepting your tax refunds
- Placing a lien against your assets
- Reporting your arrearages to credit bureaus
- Denying you the right to get a passport
- Suspending your licenses (driving, professional, etc.)
- Adding surcharges to the child support amount you owe
- Ordering you to appear before a judge to explain yourself
- Referring your case to a county prosecutor (often leading to criminal charges)
As you can see, deciding not to pay child support comes with many potentially harmful consequences. If you cannot afford your child support order or believe it is grossly unfair, consider taking your case to a legal advocate. In many cases, it is possible to have your court order modified in a way that poses few, if any, financial hardships for you and your kids.
We also urge you to learn more about child support laws in Michigan to ensure you do not fall behind on your payments.