Child support is one of the primary liens in the state of Michigan. When you receive compensation of any form, a child support lien can be used to garnish that compensation. In this case, it is important that you know the importance of the child support line and how it affects you.
If you already owe child support payments to the State, you should try to get yourself out of that problem. Here at Haque Legal, our Southfield family law attorneys understand that financial situations change, despite court orders. If you want to revisit your child support obligation and your child support arrears, we are here to take over your case and help you out.
What are arrears?
Child support past the due date is called arrears. Arrears in your child support are not just owed to your child or the child’s other parents, it could also include debt that you owe to another person, to the state, or both.
What happens if I fail to pay child support?
Failure to pay child support in Michigan is a very serious matter. A judge has a lot of different methods at his disposal to enforce the payment of your arrears. This would include denying or revoking your passport, suspending your licenses until you pay the arrears, contempt proceedings that may land you in jail, child support liens on your personal property and your real property, and even withholding money from your paycheck or any other income.
If my child is already 18 and I have arrears, does that not automatically forfeit the child support?
No, even if your child gets older than 18 years of age you may still have all the arrears coming from the child support. As long as you have arrears, you may be subject to the garnishment and child support liens on your personal property.
What if I cannot afford to pay my child support debt?
If you cannot pay your arrears, you may ask for a discharge or forgiveness of the arrears.
Request Discharge from the friend of the Court
Requesting discharge from the Friend of the Court to discharge you from the debt that you owe is an option available to you. You need to provide the following in this case:
- That you can no longer pay the arrears due to the difficulties you are experiencing;
- That you have not been remiss in previous payments until circumstances changed that lead you to fail to pay the child support; and
- Any other fact that affected your finances that would lead to a discharge of your debt from the friend of the court.
File a Motion To Manage Child Support Debt
You may also file a motion to manage child support debt. Here, you can ask the judge for a payment plan that would help you pay the remaining arrears and eventually discharge you from your debts.
By filing a motion, you are presenting yourself to the court as being able to pay only a set amount towards the arrears for a certain number of months but you are still asking the court to forgive a portion of the debt.
What if I owe payments for support to the other parent?
The judge will only grant your request to restructure the child support payment if the other party agrees to the payment plan that you suggest.
Does forgiveness of my arrears mean forgiveness of my child support obligation?
No, the forgiveness of your arrears does not mean forgiveness of child support.
Keep in mind one simple thing: just because you have been forgiven for the payments that are already past due does not mean that you are no longer obligated to pay the remaining child support obligation that you are required to pay. The two concepts are entirely separate and distinct from each other.
What if I owe arrears to the State?
A judge may also order to forgive the arrears that you owe to the State. The judge would have to see that the following elements concur:
- That the payment plan is for the best interest of the parties;
- There must also be a showing that a payment plan will require you to pay a reasonable part of the debt in a reasonable period;
- That the payment will result in you continuing to pay the child support obligation; and
- That you cannot pay the arrears without a payment plan.
What happens if the judge does not approve of the payment plan?
If the judge does not approve of the payment plan, you will have no option but to continue with the payments of the child support obligation that you owe and the arrears that you need to pay to those you owe. You can always appeal the decision of the judge.
Let Haque Legal Help You With Your Child Support
Now that you know some facts about child support, contact our Southfield child support attorneys to discuss your case. If you require a lawyer who can assist you with ensuring that you get child support in Michigan, or if you want to get legal help on ensuring that the child support payments you are required to pay are well within your rights, it is important to know that you also have a team that can help you out with your specific needs. Our Southfield divorce lawyers are dedicated to making sure that those who are innocent will be protected by the law and the full extent of justice will be used.
The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. This is not legal advice. This is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
Let us help you out
If you need a lawyer to help you with your child support proceedings, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.