Are you a parent who is preparing to file for divorce, has recently divorced, or are someone who is looking to file a child support order against your ex-partner in order to collect money to help cover expenses associated with taking care of your child? If so, there are a few important things you should be aware of including how you can start a child support case and what qualifications must be met in order to receive it.

To be clear, child support is a payment made by a child’s parent to help cover their child’s needs. Child support covers things like medical, dental, and other healthcare expenses as well as child care and school expenses too.

Who is entitled to collect child support?

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, when all of the following apply, a person is considered to be eligible to receive child support:

  1. You are the parent of a minor child or are the person who is responsible for caring for the child.
  2. The minor child lives in your home.
  3. The minor child is financially dependent on you.
  4. One of the child’s parents does not reside in the same household as the child.
  5. The court has ordered a child support payment.

How do I start a child support case?

If you live in Lansing or any other city within the state of Michigan, you can begin your child support case by applying directly online with MiChild Support or you can print out the IV-D Child Support Services Application/Referral-DHS-1201 form and mail it in. Child support is determined using the guidelines established by the Supreme Court. Payments made to you given you qualify are based on the monthly net income of both parents as well as the time the child spends with each parent. Once a case is started, the court will review the order and determine what is to be awarded.

Now, after you have started your case, it is critical that you report any of the following changes to Michigan’s Office of Child Support:

  • You or the other parent has a change of address.
  • You or the other parent has a new phone number or a new job.
  • The number of children living with you changes.
  • You have new information that may help locate the other parent.
  • You are involved in other court actions, such as a divorce that involved child support payments.

Whenever a parent is seeking child support from their child’s other parent, they are always encouraged to have a Lansing, MI child support lawyer helping them with the process, especially if their situation is more complicated. For instance, if you have more than one child, your child’s other parent lives in a different state, or are seeking support for a child you had out of wedlock, things can become rather complicated. This is why it is important that you have a Michigan child support lawyer who understands the legal system helping you along to ensure you receive what your child needs.

Family law attorney Stuart R. Shafer has helped many parents collect child support as well as enforce an already established child support order. If you live in Lansing, East Lansing, Charlotte, Grand Ledge, St. Johns, Okemos, or Dewitt consider contacting the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer if you are wanting to learn more about child support or if you are ready to start a case of your own.

You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer at:

1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906