Wage Garnishment Michigan: Michigan Child Support Garnishment

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In just about every Michigan divorce case involving children, the court will issue an income withholding order against the non-custodial parent, otherwise known as Michigan child support garnishment. Federal law requires a withholding order even if the non-custodial parent is not in arrears. The law also requires the states to establish payment distribution centers. Michigan's is called the Michigan Support Disbursement Unit. The following information is aimed at helping you understand Michigan laws governing wage garnishment and the withholding process.

Michigan Child Support Collection

In Michigan, the term "support" includes the following:

  • The payment of money for a child or spouse, which may include payment of medical, dental, and other healthcare expenses, childcare expenses, and educational expenses.
  • Payment for the necessary expenses incurred by or for the mother in connection with her pregnancy or for the repayment of genetic testing expenses.

Who Withholds the Money

The employer is typically charged with withholding the income from an employee for the payment of support ordered by the circuit court. An employer may be an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, association, private or public corporation, U.S. or federal agency, state or political subdivision of a state, or any other legal entity that hires and pays a person for his or her services. In addition to employers, others may be required to withhold income for support, including pension funds, third-party sick pay insurance and workers' compensation insurance.

When is Money Withheld

Withholding begins within 7 days after the date specified in the Income Withholding for Support order, which is usually within 7 days of the issue date. Michigan law requires the employer provide a copy of the Income Withholding for Support order to the employee. The employer must remit payment to the court within 3 business days of the employee's payday.

Out-of-State Orders

In Michigan, employers are obliged to honor income withholding orders issued in other states. Michigan has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which requires immediate delivery of a support order to the employee. Questions sometimes come up regarding which state's laws apply when it comes to support collection. Under the UIFSA, the issuing state's laws are used to determine the duration of an order; the amount of withholding for current, arrears, and cash medical support; and where the payment is sent. The laws of the employee's work state are used to determine when to begin withholding; when to remit withholding; how disposable earnings are defined; withholding limits; and how to allocate support among two or more orders when the total amount exceeds the state withholding limits.

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