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Yes, visitation and support are separate orders of the Court, with separate enforcement procedures.
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A petition requesting the Court to grant an order for support must be filed with the Court. 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.
The Child Support Guideline and the Friend of the Court recommendation are used to assist the judge in making a decision concerning support amounts. The judge does not have to follow the Friend of the Court recommendation or guideline when making a final decision.
An attorney is not required in order to file a petition for support in a divorce action. However, an attorney may be helpful when filing papers and following specific rules. For paternity and family support actions, the Prosecuting Attorney can assist with the filing of a petition for support.
Contact the Friend of the Court and request enforcement if the back support equals payments of four weeks or more. An attorney may be contacted to file an enforcement action.
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:
Contact the Friend of the Court office for further information concerning these options
Not without changing the Court order. Support is paid through the Friend of the Court in order that an official record of payments is maintained. To credit payments made directly to the custodial parent, a Court order must be obtained that directs the Friend of the Court to credit your account for a specific amount.
The Michigan Child Support Guideline requires the Friend of the Court to consider both parents’ income when making child support recommendations. If either party has had a large increase or decrease in income, they may wish to contact the Friend of the Court to request a review of the support order. If both parties can mutually agree to a change in the support order, and both sign a written agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), that agreement will be entered as an order, if approved by the Court.
Michigan Court Rules provide that the Friend of the Court may deduct unpaid fees from any support money paid after the fee is due (January 2 and July 2 of each year).
No, all child support payments paid while receiving public assistance must be sent by the Friend of the Court to the Department of Human Services. However, if the payer is making payments, the payee is entitled to receive from the Department of Human Services up to the first $50 of any child support paid each month. Please contact the local Department of Human Services support specialist for more information.
The law does not give the Friend of the Court the right to question how child support payments are spent.