Child Support Laws on Back Payments in Michigan

By Pamela Gardapee

Persons owing back child support in Michigan have to adhere to the child support laws on back payments or be subject to liens, court appearances and even jail. The laws are set in place to make sure that the noncustodial parent supports every child financially. Child support payments that are in arrears are serious business in Michigan.

Hiring and Wage Reporting

The state requires employers to report all new employees to the government so that their information can be entered into the job-hiring database. This database is used to identify an individual who owes child support in the form of medical payments or money. Each employer must file a quarterly wage statement, which will have the employee's name, Social Security Number and earnings for that quarter, which will show how much someone who owes child support and back support makes for that three-month period.

Withholding Income

The new hire reporting database will generate a withholding order for any new employee who owes child support and back support. Employers must comply with the income withholding order. If the employee had not reported his or her new employment, the order will be required to start within 21 days from the date of the order. The amount that can be withheld for current and back child support cannot be more than the allowed amount by the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Most of the time, the support collection is 50 percent but could be as high as 65 percent.

State and Federal Refunds

When the $150 arrears threshold is met for the state, the state can request to take the debtor's state tax refund. The threshold for the federal tax refund is $150 for any person who receives Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and for those who don't receive assistance from the government, the threshold for arrears is $500. If a parent who is in arrears files a married filing jointly tax return, the spouse can claim 50 percent of the tax return amount that will not be taken for back child support.

Liens, Licenses and Credit Reporting

Those who owe back child support in Michigan can have a lien or levy put against their personal property or real estate and financial assets. Nonpayment of child support can result in revocation of a driver's license, hunting or fishing license and any other professional licenses. After two months of missed child support payments, a computer system known as MiCSES sends a report to the credit reporting agencies, and it is noted on the person's credit history.

Bench Warrants and Felony Warrants

The court can request the appearance of the obligor to discuss back child support payments. Usually the court will request a cash bond be paid that is applied towards back support. If the bond is not paid or the person does not show up for court, a bench warrant is issued and the person is jailed until the bond is paid. Felony warrants are not issued unless the above laws have not helped in clearing up the arrears on the back child support.

About the Author

Pamela Gardapee is a writer with more than seven years experience writing Web content. Being functional in finances, home projects and computers has allowed Gardapee to give her readers valuable information. She studied accounting, computers and writing before offering her tax, computer and writing services to others.

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