Owing Back Child Support in Michigan Can Land You in Jail

Child support is a legal term that refers to the payments that one parent makes to the other that goes towards the raising of any minor child. The court will generally require that the noncustodial parent may payments to the custodial parent. A custodial parent is the one the child lives with, and a noncustodial parent is one who has visitation rights or may see the child less frequently. If you owe back child support in the state of Michigan, you need a Detroit criminal defense attorney who can help you stay out of jail.

How Courts Determine Support Orders

The child support order comes directly from the court. The judge involved in your case will look at the total amount of take home pay that you make to determine the amount you must pay each month. It can range from $50 or less to more than $1,000 a month. Your employer will receive a notification that you owe support, and your employer will automatically take out that money and send it to the Child Support Enforcement Agency where your child lives. That department will then send the funds to the custodial parent.

When You Don’t Pay

When you stop making payments, there are a few things that will happen. The Child Support Enforcement Agency will first do a check on your social security number to determine if you have a job. Once it finds your name and social security number in use, it will begin taking out payments again. If the agency cannot find a job for you, it will send a letter to your last known address. After multiple attempts to contact you without getting a response, the agency will file charges with the court. The court can then issue a warrant in your name, send officers to arrest you and keep you in jail until your next court date.

How to Fight Back

As soon as you realize that you cannot make your child support payments, contact both the court and the agency. You will then need to consult with an attorney. The attorney can request a new court date to talk about the factors in your case. The court can lower your support payments or even suspend those payments until you can find a job or go back to work. Working with an attorney can keep you out of jail, even if you owe back child support.

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