Contempt of Court (Show Cause) Hearing Regarding Non-Payment of Support - If monthly support payments are not being paid as ordered, the Friend of the Court may begin a contempt action (known as a Show Cause Hearing), by scheduling a court appearance which requires the attendance of the party who is believed to be in contempt. A party may request a Contempt Hearing by phone or by mailing a written request.
Notification that enforcement action has begun is typically by letter or notice to the payer of support that an arrearage has been identified and that this outstanding balance requires action. Failure to respond to this request brings further action with an appointment set with a case manager to address the issue. If no resolution can be reached at this point, then the case may be subject to additional enforcement actions, including among other resolutions, referral to an Order to Show Cause (OTSC) hearing.
Both parties will be notified by mail of a scheduled OTSC hearing. On hearing day, a case manager may meet with the parties involved prior to the hearing to gather information and/or to resolve the non-compliance. If a resolution cannot be reached at the OTSC hearing, an FOC staff member will present information from the FOC record to the Judge hearing the case, and the Judge will make the actual decision as to the disposition. The FOC does not directly represent either party in these proceedings.
In child support cases where parents were not married at the time of the child's birth, and the expenses were covered by Medicaid, the payor is ordered to pay back the State of Michigan for the birth of the child.
Every three years the parties are eligible for a statutory review initiated by the Friend of the Court caseworker. If it has been three years from the date your order was entered, you may submit a request in writing to your caseworker.
If either, or both parties wish to modify the child support order based on a change in circumstances, you may file a Motion to request a hearing. Motion to Request a Hearing(MC288) and Motion regarding Support (FOC50)
Child Support Adjustments
In all post-judgment cases where an order of support has been established, the support order may be modified if the payer becomes unemployed or disabled. The payer of child support must personally appear in the Friend of the Court Office and document the unemployment or disability and reduced earnings. At that time, a motion to adjust support arrearages may be filed on behalf of the payer, setting forth the existing financial circumstances and the reduced support amount. Copies of this motion will be mailed to both the payer and payee by the Friend of the Court Office. The payer shall notify the Friend of the Court when (s)he returns to employment. Upon receipt of this notification, the Friend of the Court will present to the Circuit Court an ex parte order adjusting the arrearages of the child support account based upon the unemployment/disability. A true copy of the ex parte order will be mailed to the payer and payee by the Friend of the Court. If the payee objects to the motion to temporarily reduce child support or the ex parte order, the Friend of the Court will schedule the matter for hearing before the Court.
Processing Child and Spousal Support Payments
Several procedures have been established by the Macomb County Friend of the Court for the processing of child and spousal support payments. The more important are as follows:
1. The Friend of the Court Office will no longer accept personal checks upon receipt. Checks will be accepted and processed by the Michigan State Disbursement United (MiSDU). The Friend of the Court Office will accept cash at the Cashier counter.
2. The Friend of the Court/MiSDU collects and distributes support through the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System (MiCSES).
a. MiCSES is designed according to federal regulations. The federal government requires all support charges (e.g., child support, child care, spousal support, etc.) to be calculated based on a monthly charge cycle.
b. For cash, money orders, personal and out-of-state checks, the federal government requires current child support and spousal support for a given month to be paid first. Any additional amount can be used to pay overdue support arrearages or other types of obligations (e.g., service fees).
c. MiCSES does not allow for the automatic distribution of overpayments on an account. If a payer’s monthly payment exceeds the amount due for a month, and there are no other obligations to apply the money to, the additional monies are placed in a suspense account.