The Importance of Tracking Child Support Payments
Two of the greatest responsibilities of parents are financially supporting their children and providing for their physical needs. These obligations do not end once you separate from your spouse or partner. If you have children in common with your ex-partner, the court handling your divorce or child custody case will order one of you to pay child support.
Child support orders are almost always enforced through an income withholding order (IWO) issued to your employer. The IWO tells your employer the amount of child support they should withhold from your paycheck each pay period. The money is then sent to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU).
MiSDU Processes and Tracks Child Support Payments
The MiSDU not only receives child support payments but records them and sends payments to their proper recipients. This saves you and other obligors the trouble of mailing your payment directly to the obligee and keeping track of the obligee’s current mailing address.
However, MiSDU’s recordkeeping process is not perfect or guaranteed. The payment records maintained by MiSDU can contain errors, which is why it is critical that you keep your own record of payments made. If there is an IWO in place, your pay stubs can serve as your records. Otherwise, keep canceled checks or other proof that you have timely submitted payments to MiSDU.
Consequences for Failing to Pay Child Support
Failing to make timely child support payments can have serious ramifications. Initially, you may notice that your monthly child support payment will increase as an additional amount for missed payments. Continued missed payments can result in penalties and jail sanctions in extreme cases.
Your payment records are vital to show that you have kept up with your obligations. Producing evidence that shows you have made your child support payments or that they have been regularly withheld from your paychecks can save you from having your obligation increased or being found in contempt by the court.
What if You’re Paying Your Ex-Spouse Directly?
The need for accurate record-keeping and preservation is even greater if you are making child support payments directly to your ex-spouse. This arrangement is not recommended, as any dispute over payments can devolve into your word against theirs.
If you do not have proof you have made your payments, the court may very well side with your ex-spouse and impose penalties and sanctions on you.
Get Legal Assistance with Child Support Disputes
Whether you are receiving child support or are obliged to pay child support, get legal help to address any issues or problems before they get out of control. Child support disputes do not need to drag on for months or years. We can help you get the legal relief you need.
At Gucciardo Family Law, we are committed to helping our clients resolve their child support and family law issues swiftly and with the least amount of disruption to their lives possible. Call us today and learn how we can assist you in solving your matter.
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