Child Support

The Michigan Child Support Formula

Michigan law requires a child support formula be used to determine how much child support a parent must pay. That formula considers the parents' incomes and other factors. The court may set a different support amount, but only if the judge explains in writing or during a court hearing why the formula number is unjust or inappropriate. For more information about the Michigan Child Support Formula (PSA 24), visit the Michigan Supreme Court Website.

Support Payment Procedure

Unless otherwise ordered, support payers must make their payments to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU). When a payment received by the MiSDU sufficiently identifies the person to whom the support should be paid, the MiSDU must forward the money to the recipient within two business days.

In most cases, support payments are automatically withheld from a payer's wages. A payer who pays the MiSDU directly should clearly identify the case number with the payment. Do not send cash through the mail.

Information regarding a support account is available through the MiSDU or online through MiCase. A party may also call the office that has the support order. You may contact MiSDU by dialing our IVR Number (517-264-4708) and pressing #1, then #4 to reach the MiSDU line and choose to speak to an MiSDU representative.

Once a year, upon a written request, the FOC will give the parties a free statement of their support account.

Statutory Service Fees

Michigan law requires the FOC to charge the support payer a service fee, currently $3.50 per month. Federal law requires the FOC to charge the support payer a federal service fee, currently $25 per fiscal year.

Surcharge on Overdue Support (Arrears)

Some overdue support cases have surcharges added. A surcharge is fully enforceable as support.

Automatic surcharges were eliminated in 2010. Previously assessed surcharges are not forgiven, and are still enforceable, however, there will be no further automatic surcharge amounts. Starting on January 1, 2011, the court may order a surcharge as a sanction for failure to pay support.

Criminal Nonpayment of Support

Federal and Michigan law make failure to pay child support a criminal offense. The FOC does not bring felony charges. Charges based on Michigan law are filed and prosecuted by county prosecutors or the Attorney General. Federal charges are prosecuted by the United States Attorney's office.