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Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

1. Where can I send payments?

2. How do I make my support payment to MISDU?

3. How will I receive my child support?

4. How do I get my support increased or decreased?

5. How does the computer system allocate and distribute support payments?

6. Where's my money? I haven't received a payment in a while.

7. How do I request a payment history for my case?

8. How do I get a Notice of Income Withholding started to have the child support taken from my pay?

9. Why am I not getting child support when it should be coming out of my ex-spouse's pay?

10. What is the most convenient way to receive child support payments?

11. If I cannot afford to pay my past due support (arrears), can I ask the court to reduce the amount of arrears owed?

12. How does an Arrears Payment Plan work?

13. Does the person to whom I owe arrears have to agree to the Arrears Payment Plan?

14. What if my support arrears is owed to the state, how do I notify the state?

15. How do I request an Arrears Payment Plan?

16. What if I have an Arrears Payment Plan and my circumstances change?

17. Do I have to have an attorney to request an Arrears Payment Plan?

18. Do I still have to pay my current support if I have an Arrears Payment Plan?

19. I cannot get through to the Friend of the Court (FOC) office by telephone. Why?

20. When do I contact MiSDU, and when do I contact the Friend of the Court?

21. How does a child support case get started?

22. I'm not getting my parenting time, what can I do?

23. How do I change my employer/address?

24. Why does my caseworker prefer that I put all my correspondence to the office "in writing"?

25. I want to have custody changed immediately due to emergency circumstances. Can the Friend of the Court help me?

26. The other party in my case does not ever exercise parenting time with the kids or pay support. I want his/her rights terminated. How can I do that? 

27. How do I transfer my case to another county?

28. Why was my passport denied or revoked?

29. Why was my child support arrears reported to the credit bureau?

30. How can I "Opt Out" of Friend of the Court Services?

31. What are reasonable rights of parenting time??

 

 Arrears Management Program

1. How do I know if I qualify for one of the arrears management strategies?

2. Do I have to complete a DHS - 681 form for each case I have?

3. What criteria will be considered by the Friend of the Court to determine if my case qualifies?

4. Will I be required to provide additional information to the Friend of the Court?

5. If I don't qualify for discharge of arrears, can I qualify for another program?

6. Does my bond, tax intercept, or lien/levy on an asset or bank account count as a lump-sum payment if I am eligible for that program?

7. How long will it take Friend of the Court to determine if I am eligible for one of the programs?

8. Do I have to continue to pay my support and arrears while waiting for the decision?

9. Is the Friend of the Court mailing letters to those who qualify for the program?

10. I have an active bench warrant. Will that prevent me from participating?

11. Where can I obtain the forms?

 

 

General Information

 

1. Where can I send my payments?

You may send personal and business check payments to the address below:

Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU)
P.O. Box 30351
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7851
www.misdu.com

Please ensure to include your social security number or case number and name on the payment.

Payments made by Cash, Cashier Checks, Money Orders, Credit and Debit card payments can be made at the local office or online via the Friend of the Court website.

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2. How do I make my support payment to MISDU?

Support payments are receipted and distributed by MiSDU. It is very important to include required identifying information with your payment. Payments lacking this information may be returned to the payer. Individuals should use payment coupons mailed to them by MiSDU or include this information with the payment:

  1. Payer's full name
  2. Payer's SSN
  3. Docket county number:  25
  4. Docket Number (ie. 1999-111111-DS)

Mail your payment with the above information to:
Michigan SDU
P.O. Box 30351
Lansing, Michigan USA 48909-7851

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3. How will I receive my child support? 
Child support is required to be electronically disbursed. This means that support payments will no longer be sent to customers in the form of a check. Instead, customers must have support deposited directly into a bank account or put onto a US Bank ReliaCard Visa debit card. The customer may choose either option. The MiSDU handles all inquiries regarding direct deposit. US Bank (866-276-5114) handles all inquiries regarding the ReliaCard.

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4. How do I get my support increased or decreased?

You may need to file a motion to modify support. Motion forms are available at the main Friend of the Court office located at 1101 Beach Street, in Flint, Michigan. Many forms, including motion forms to modify support or parenting time, are available on this web site.

If both parents agree to a support modification and are not receiving public assistance, you may schedule a joint appointment with your caseworker for a stipulation and order be drafted reflecting the agreed upon amount. To schedule an appointment please call (810) 257-3097.

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6. Where's my money? I haven't received a payment in a while.

The automated IVR or MiCase website can provide you with the last payment and account balance information.  The Friend of the Court personnel is unable to provide case specific information over the phone.

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7. How do I request a payment history for my case?

*New*  Parents who pay or receive child support in Michigan now have a convenient and secure Web site to review their payment and case information.  To access online payment summaries, amounts owed, scheduled hearing dates and other case information, parents must sign up for a MiCase ID at:  www.michigan.gov/MiCase  You can also request the payment history by mailing a request to FOC. Your request will be processed as quickly as possible.

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8. How do I get a Notice of Income Withholding started to have the child support taken from my pay?

A Notice of Income Withholding is started by the employer information, such as employer name and address, being submitted to FOC so the notice can be drawn up and sent to the employer payroll department. You should make the payments on your own to the MISDU until you see the deductions from your paycheck. See above on how to make your payment to MISDU online or by mail.

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9. Why am I not getting child support when it should be coming out of my ex-spouse's pay?

If you are not getting payments in accordance with a Notice of Income Withholding you should contact the FOC office. The support staff will contact the employer either by phone or correspondence to see if the payer is still employed. If the payer is not employed, further action will be decided by the friend of the court. If the payer is employed, the employer will be requested to give an explanation as to why the payments are not being sent in accordance with the Notice of Income Withholding.

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10. What is the most convenient way to receive child support payments?

Direct Deposit of your support to your bank account, is the most convenient way to receive your support.  Print and complete a Direct Deposit form, and fax or mail it back to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit, located in Lansing.

Please be aware that in February 2006 the Michigan State Disbursement Unit must disburse all support payments electronically.  For those payees not enrolled in direct deposit, a debit card was issued by MiSDU.  For more information about your debit card, please see the related question below.  You may enroll in direct deposit at any time.

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11. If I cannot afford to pay my past due support (arrears), can I ask the court to reduce the amount of arrears owed?

Yes, Michigan law allows you to ask (petition) the court for an Arrears Payment Plan if you can show that you cannot afford to pay your past due support (arrears).

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12. How does an Arrears Payment Plan work?

You must ask (petition) the court of an Arrears Payment Plan. If approved, the court determines how much of the arrearage is eliminated afterthe Arrears Payment Plan is completed.

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13. Does the person to whom I owe arrears have to agree to the Arrears Payment Plan?

If your arrearage is owed to an individual, yes, that individual must agree to the plan.

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14. What if my support arrears is owed to the state, how do I notify the state?

You may request an Arrears Payment Plan if the support arrearage is owed to the state; however, the Michigan Department of Human Services' Office of Child Support will comment in support or opposition to your plan and must receive a copy of the court motion requesting an arrears payment plan at least 56 days (8 weeks) before the court hearing date on the motion.

The motion can be sent to:

         Office of Child Support
         OCS Central Operations - Arrears Payment Plan Review Unit
         P.O. Box 30744
         Lansing, Michigan 48909-8250

The court will consider the state's comments.

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15. How do I request an Arrears Payment Plan?

You must file a motion with the circuit court for a payment plan (the link provides the form and instructions). However, depending upon the circumstances of your case, your payment plan may or may not be approved by the court.

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16. What if I have an Arrears Payment Plan and my circumstances change?

If the plan is approved, and, if during the payment plan, your circumstances change, the payment plan may be modified or terminated.

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17. Do I have to have an attorney to request an Arrears Payment Plan?

No. An attorney can file the payment plan motion but you can also file a motion yourself using the motion with the circuit court for a payment plan form (the link provides the form and instructions).

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18. Do I still have to pay my current support if I have an Arrears Payment Plan?

Yes, you still have to pay your current support along with any Arrears Payment Plan amount.

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19. I cannot get through to the Friend of the Court (FOC) office by telephone. Why?

The office is required to use an interactive voice response system (IVR). The IVR is user friendly and a caller may follow the prompts to be connected with the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) for account information, to request forms or may choose to connect to the local FOC to schedule an appointment with a caseworker. Please be advised that this office receives a high volume of calls daily and you may need to wait to speak to a FOC representative.

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20. When do I contact MiSDU, and when do I contact the Friend of the Court?

The MiSDU deals with inquiries such as payment coupons, direct deposits, check issuance, lost/stolen checks, unclaimed checks, IVR pin numbers, debit card disbursement questions and disbursement details. In general, all other questions should be referred to your local FOC office. MiSDU may be reached by calling the automated IVR (810 257-0781) and following the prompts to connect to MiSDU. You may also follow the prompts to reach your local FOC office.

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21. How does a child support case get started?

If you are on public assistance, your Department of Human Services (DHS) caseworker can assist you with establishing paternity and/or starting a child support case. If you do not have a DHS caseworker you may contact the Office of Child Support at 1-866-661-0005 for additional information on starting a child support case.

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22. I'm not getting my parenting time, what can I do?

If parenting time is specified in your court order (for example: “alternating weekends” or “Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.”) and the provision in your court order is not being followed, you may file a parenting time complaint. A complaint form is available in our office or on our web site. If your court order does not identify specific parenting times and you wish to have the parenting time provision of your order modified to include specific days/times/holidays, you will need to file a motion to modify parenting time. This form is also available in our office or on our web site.

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23. How do I change my employer/address?

Address and employer change forms are available in our office or on our web site.

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24. Why does my caseworker prefer that I put all my correspondence to the office "in writing"?

The Friend of the Court office has approximately 60,000 open cases. By putting correspondence in writing, this allows your caseworker to fully investigate your inquiry and respond appropriately. This has been found to be the most effective and efficient way to help the greatest number of people. Written correspondence is also necessary for documentation purposes.

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25. I want to have custody changed immediately due to emergency circumstances. Can the Friend of the Court help me?

No. If there are emergency circumstances (for example, you believe the child is at immediate risk of harm while in the care of the other parent) you need to contact your local law enforcement agency or Genesee County Child Protective Services at (810) 760-2222 or (810) 760-2888.

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26. The other party in my case does not ever exercise parenting time with the kids or pay support. I want his/her rights terminated. How can I do that?

Under certain circumstances parental rights may be terminated through adoption or abuse/neglect proceedings. The Friend of the Court office does not petition the court to terminate parental rights.

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27. How do I transfer my case to another county?

A case may be transferred by a party by petitioning the court of the original jurisdiction and obtaining an order. A case may not be transferred between two adjacent counties. The following counties are adjacent to Genesee County: Lapeer, Livingston, Oakland, Saginaw, Shiawasee and Tuscola County.

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28. Why was my passport denied or revoked?

Effective October 1, 2006, the Deficit Reduction Act allows an non-custodial parent to be submitted for the passport denial program when the arrears balance on his/her IV-D case(s) reaches the passport denial threshold of $2500.00. In order to be released from the passport denial program, you must contact the Friend of the Court directly.

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29. Why was my child support arrears reported to the credit bureau?

Federal and State law requires that states have procedures to periodically report to consumer credit reporting agencies, the name and amount of arrears of payers with past due support.

An non-custodial parent becomes eligible for credit bureau reporting when their support case has a support arrearage greater than or equal to two months of current support obligations.

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Arrears Management Program:

 

1. How do I know if I qualify for one of the arrears management strategies?

You must complete form DHS-681 and return it to the Friend of the Court.

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2. Do I have to complete a DHS-681 form for each case I have?

Not if all your cases are in the same county.  If you have cases in different coutnies, however, you must complete one form for each county.

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3. What criteria will be considered by the Friend of the Court to determine if my case qualifies?

FOC will consider your ability or inability to pay, your assets, your current or projected employment, your age/life expectancy, health status, past/current incarceration status, geographic location, public assistance history, and eligibility for VA or SSA benefits. It will also consider whether or not your current or past order for support was based upon ability to earn an income versus actual wage information, whether or not you were historically compliant with your order when financial/personal circumstances were better, whether or not you hid assets or income, or failed to timely report income, address or asset information, whether or not you participated in job programs when available, provide(d) non-monetary support to the child(ren) on an ongoing basis, appeared at hearings and appointments, provided information when requested, whether or not you are currently married to and/or reside with the other parent, whether the child(ren) is in your home/custody, and any other related factors.

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4. Will I be required to provide additional information to the Friend of the Court?

You may be asked to provide proof of one or all of the itmes indicated on form DHS-681. In addition, someone may call you or ask you to appear for an in-office interview.

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5. If I don't qualify for discharge of arrears, can I qualify for another program?

You may qualify for the Lump-Sum Payment option where the State of Michigan agrees to "match" dollar for dollar a lump sum payment you make. Certain conditions apply. To see if you qualify, you must complete form DHS-682 and return it to the Friend of the Court for review.

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6. Does my bond, tax intercept, or lien/levy on an asset or bank account count as a lump-sum payment if I am eligible for that program?

No, only voluntary payments will be considered if approved for the Lump-Sum Payment program.

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7. How long will it take Friend of the Court to determine if I am eligible for one of the programs?

A review of your completed forms will be done as quickly as possible. It is expected that you willl receive a response within 30-45 days.

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8. Do I have to continue to pay my support and arrears while waiting for the decision?

Yes. Participation in the Arrears Management Program is not mandatory. Unitl such time as it is determined that your arrears state-owed may be forgiven, you are still court ordered to pay.

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9. Is the Friend of the Court mailing letters to those who qualify for the program?

The Friend of the Court may mail letters to individuals whose cass have been identified as potential candidates, or may hand out forms in the office. Other agencies that interact with people who owe child support may also refer them to the Friend of the Court for consideration.

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10. I have an active bench warrant. Will that prevent me from participating?

No. FOC will assist you in resolving your warrarnt during this process. Do not wait until the arrears management process is completed before addressing the warrant.

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11. Where can I obtain the forms?

You can contact the Friend of the Court at 810-257-3300 to request form DHS-681 and DHS-682, or pick up the forms at 1101 Beach Street, Flint, MI. You may also download the forms online by visiting http://www.gc4me.com

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