Child Support in Michigan: What You Need to Know

Child support in Michigan

Are you thinking about filing for child support?

Are you facing the possibility of paying for child support?

Whether you have been married or not, you may find yourself facing the possibility of making child support payments. This article provides five questions you might be asking about child support and their answers.

Remember while reading this article, that this information is completely free. While free, it is also general and is not intended as legal counsel. If you have specific questions or need legal counsel, please contact me at my office or by using the contact form on this website.

6 Answers to Top Questions on Child Support in Michigan

  1. What is Child Support?

    Child support is a court-ordered payment that a parent makes in order to help with the cost of raising a child. Child support is a base amount, plus health care, and child costs.

  2. When Does Child Support Stop?

    Most likely the child will be 18 when child support stops. However, if the child is still in high school and lives with a full time parent or the child is still in high school and lives in an institution, the court may order the child support to continue.

  3. Will I have to Pay Child Support?

    Children in Michigan have legal rights to financial support from both parents. According to Michigan Legal Help, you cannot avoid paying child support by having your rights as a parent terminated. You may request a paternity test if you wish.

  4. How Much Will I Pay in Child Support?

    In Michigan, child support is calculated by a number of factors. Here are those factors,

    • The incomes of both parents
    • Parenting time arrangements
    • Custody arrangements
    • The cost of the child’s medical needs
    • Any cost of child care.

    The court will order the amount according to the formula, unless it is unfair or inappropriate. If both parents are able to agree on an amount, the court can consider it. While the court may consider it, they do not have to approve it.

    For more information on the formula, pleas see Michigan Courts’ website to read the Michigan Child Support Manual.

    *Quick Note: The court can chose to decide that the payer has the ability to earn more income. If they decide this, they will calculate the income piece of the formula at payer’s potential income and not their current income. Potential income is what the court believes the payer has the ability to pay.

  5. How Are Child Support Payments Enforced?

    Child support payment will be enforced. The following are possible ways of enforcement.

    • Withholding income for the payer’s wages.
    • Placing liens on payer’s personal property.
    • Garnishing state and federal tax refunds.
    • Suspending driving, occupational, or other licenses/
    • Contempt proceedings.
  6. How Will Child Support be Collected?

    Most often the child support payments are withheld from the payer’s paychecks. Then, the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) forwards the support payment to the payee.

    When it is not possible to pay in this way due to self-employment or other issues, the payer makes direct payments to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit.


These 6 questions and answers about child care support in Michigan are the most common. If you or someone you love is facing child support and have more questions or are seeking more information about your specific situation, please contact my office. Every situation is unique and should be treated as such. I am here to help.

Are you filing a divorce in Michigan? You won’t want to miss the collection of articles at All You Need To Know About Divorce in Michigan.