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If my ex-spouse has not paid child support, what can I do?

If the other parent to your children is the subject of a child support obligation and is not paying, Michigan law provides for many kinds of enforcement. Some enforcement options directly provide payments more expeditiously. Others do not make direct payments but put pressure on the other parent to start complying with the child support order.

Income withholding of paycheck

The court can order income withholding on your ex. In fact, new orders must include income withholding unless you and your ex agree, along with the court, to another method. Income withholding is an invaluable tool for enforcement because so long as the other parent is working, the employer has a legal obligation to pay part of his or her wages towards child support directly.

The court basically removes any decision-making from your ex to not prioritize child support obligation. Other sources of income can be subject to withholding also, such as Social Security or unemployment insurance benefits.

Loss of driver’s license and other privileges

A painful repercussion that your ex can end up enduring if he or she continues to be in arrears is the privilege of driving. The license to drive can be subject to a suspension so long as your ex is at least two months in arrears on child support. Other licenses from the state can be at risk as well, including hunting, boating or even professional licenses, such as a contractor’s license.

Use tax refund to pay child support arrears

Another powerful tool to encourage payments on arrears involves your ex’s expected tax refund. If your ex is at least $150 behind in child support and you are receiving cash assistance, his federal and state tax refunds can cover those arrears. If you are not eligible for cash assistance, the threshold is $500 for a federal offset.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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