Child Support Payments

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Child support is the payment of money for the support of a child in a divorce, paternity or Family Support Act proceeding. Support includes, but is not limited to, health care, childcare, and educational expenses. Individuals may send support payments to:

MiSDU
P.O. Box 30351
Lansing, MI. 48909 -7851

If a payer of child support is employed, the child support payments may be withheld from the payer’s earnings through an income withholding order. Federal and state programs have been established to ensure that parents support their children. As a part of these programs, employers served with an order of income withholding must withhold income and transmit it to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU). Employers may send those support payments to:

MiSDU
P.O. Box 30350
Lansing, MI. 48909

Michigan Child Support Formula

As part of its responsibilities, the State Court Administrative Office’s Friend of the Court Bureau developed a formula or guideline for figuring child support obligation amounts. The law requires courts to use this formula when setting or changing child support obligations.

The formula is based on common factors which are appropriate for use in the determination of child support obligations. Based on the estimated costs of raising children and factors like parental income, family size, and ages of children, the formula provides for appropriate support amounts in orders involving the support of children.

Direct Deposit of Child Support

Public Act 548 of 2004 requires that the MiSDU disburse support electronically. The MiSDU must accomplish this either through direct deposit to an individual’s bank account or through use of a debit card. The MiSDU is the single location in the state for disbursement of all child support payments.

Direct Deposit Form

The following customers are exempt from mandatory participation in electronic disbursement of support:

  • Individuals with a mental or physical disability that imposes a hardship in accessing electronic payments.
  • Individuals with a language or literacy barrier that imposes a hardship in accessing electronic payments.
  • Individuals with both home and work addresses that are more than 30 miles from an ATM or their financial institution.

Exempt customers are not required to receive payments via direct deposit or a debit card. They must contact the MiSDU to request an exemption by calling 1-877-4-MI-DEBIT (1-877-464-3324).

MiSDU Debit Card Information

Debit card customers may call the MiSDU Debit Card line toll free at 877-464-3324 for information concerning the debit card program (how to use the debit card, fees, etc.), to obtain a copy of the debit card application or direct deposit application, for exception requests, and for assistance if they have not received a debit card.

For automated services such as activation of the debit card, balance information, transaction history, or to report a lost or stolen debit card, debit card customers should call US Bank toll free at 866-276-5114. This toll free number can also be used to change the PIN number associated with the debit card. In addition, customers can reach a customer service representative on this line free of charge once per month. A fee of $3 applies for any additional calls to a customer service representative within a one-month period.

For information about the most recent support amounts receipted and disbursed, or for mailing and residential address changes, customers should call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System. Follow the prompts on the IVR to the Friend of the Court for questions concerning the amount or change in a support order, for submitting legal address change, for enforcement, or for other support case questions.

Account information is also available online at www.reliacard.com.

Manage Your Case

MiChildSupport provides 24/7 real time information about your child support case right from your mobile device or personal computer.

Child Support FAQs

How do I get child support?
A petition requesting the court to grant an order for support must be filed with the court either by a party or an attorney. 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.

When money is received at the MISDU on your case and owed to the payee, a check is issued from the MISDU to the payee, or an electronic fund transfer (EFT) is made directly to your financial institution, or a Reli-a-card deposit is made.

The other parent is not paying child support as ordered. What can I do?
Contact the Friend of the Court for enforcement help if the other parent is more than one month behind on the support payments.
If I have been paying child support as required by the court's order but the custodial parent will not allow me the parenting time required by the order, do I have to keep paying support?
Yes. Parenting time and child support orders are enforced separately.
Does the Friend of the Court have the right to deduct statutory service fees from a 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 (charged January 2nd and July 2nd of each year).
My court order says to pay support through the Friend of the Court or the MiSDU (Michigan State Disbursement Unit). May I pay the other parent directly?
No, not unless your order specifically allows direct payment. If it does not, you might not receive credit for payments made directly to the other parent.
Can I simply call the Friend of the Court and tell the office that my child is now living with me if my ex-spouse and I agree?
No. You will need to modify your court order and have it signed by a judge.
If I am receiving TANF or DHS (Department of Human Services) assistance, may I also receive child support?
No. The MiSDU must send any support payments that it receives from the other parent to DHS to offset the public assistance that you received from DHS.
The payor of support is self-employed and not making his/her support payments. What can the Friend of the Court do?
Income withholding orders are not usually effective when a payer is self-employed. In these cases, the Friend of the Court may seek enforcement using one or more of the following options:

1. Petitioning the court for a show cause hearing.
2. Submitting the payer's name for tax intercept (offset).
3. Filing a lien on the payer's property.

Will the Friend of the Court make sure that child support money is spent on the children?
No. The law does not authorize the Friend of the Court to verify how child support payments are spent by the custodial parent.
Will the court modify the support order if the payer is in jail or prison?
The support amount is determined by the standard child support formulas, which considers the parties' incomes. Therefore, an incarcerated payer's support obligation may be modified if a motion to modify support is filed. Either a party or the Friend of the Court may file that motion.
May I receive child support after my child reaches age 18?
Child support can continue up to age 19 1/2 if the child attends high school on a full-time basis with a reasonable expectation of completing sufficient credits to graduate and the child continues to reside on a full time basis with the person who receive the support payments.
What happens to my child support order if my minor child is adopted, married, or enters the military service?
When any of those "emancipation events" occur, the court will grant a motion ending the obligation to pay further child support. Copies of adoption orders, marriage records, or military service records should be provided to the court. Any overdue past support must still be paid.