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Online child support filings may make the process easier


Child support generally consists of monthly payments made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to assist in the everyday expenses of the child, including food, shelter, clothing, health care and medical expenses. In setting the amount of the monthly payment, Michigan courts use a child support formula that takes into account the needs of the child and the resources of the obligated parent. Once the court orders the payment amount, that amount must be paid every month in a timely fashion unless it is modified by the court.

Requesting an order for child support can be a complex and confusing process. Now, Michigan is making it even easier to file for child support. The Michigan Department of Human Services has started an online filing system for child support. The system is available both day and night for those that seek to file an application online.

Some people who are ordered to pay child support seem to have a real problem with making the payments on time if at all. Michigan courts can impose severe sanctions on people who are delinquent in their payments or who don't pay. Incarceration is a very real possibility for serious child support violators. In order to avoid jail time, if an individual has a legitimate problem with making the payments, seeking a modification from the court is a better way to go. If a change in circumstances makes the monthly payment no longer feasible, the court will sometimes modify the payments or the payment schedule.

Keep in mind that child support is not just like any other bill. If it isn't paid, then the court has very broad enforcement powers.

Source: WHTC, "Michigan Child Support Can Now be Filed Online," Diane E. Coston, April 8, 2014

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