Category Archives: Child and Spousal Support

Friend of The Court Can Help During Your Divorce or Custody Case

The Family Division of the Circuit Court was created by Public Act 388 in 1996.  On January 1, 1998, the Friend of the Court became a unit in the Family Division of the Circuit Court.  The Friend of the Court provides services to parties with minor children involving divorce, family support, interstate and paternity cases.  Friend of the Court is responsible for investigating and making recommendations in regards to child custodysupport and parenting time (when ordered by the judge) in contested cases. Once the Court enters an order pertaining to those issues, the Friend of the Court assists in enforcing the Court’s written orders.

The Friend of the Court:

  • Secures financial information for support recommendations
  • Conducts investigations for custody and parenting time recommendations;
  • Strives to settle disputes without Court intervention
  • Schedules cases for Courts
  • Holds referee hearings and mediation sessions
  • Finds absent parents
  • Arrests and arraigns persons when bench warrants are issued for failure to appear at enforcement hearings

Find out all you need to know on the divorce proces here.

If you questions about your divorce contact David Lutz at 248-624-5500 or visit our website
Samantha@ambroselawgroup.com
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Man Arrested For Owing $214,647 In Child Support

A man who allegedly owes $214,647 in child support to five women was charged Friday in the city’s 36th District Court. Tyrease Hicks, 41, was arrested by Detroit Police last week at an eastside home on warrants for five separate felony charges of failure to pay child support.

He was arraigned earlier on two charges and faced the remaining charges Friday. Although Hicks was granted a personal recognizance bond, he’s been held in the Wayne County Jail since last week to assure his appearance in court.

A preliminary examination on all five charges is set to be held in the district court June 21. Detroit Police were tipped to Hicks’ location last week by the Attorney General’s Child Support Division.

Failure to pay child support in Michigan is considered a felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

In order to bond out before the arraignment, you will be required to post a bond of 25% of the arrearage or at least $500.00, whatever amount is higher.  If you are unable to do so, the court will address the issue of bond at the arraignment and preliminary examination.  Unless good cause is show on the record, the court has to order the bond to continue at the amount of 25% of the arrearage or at least $500.00, whatever amount is higher.

If convicted the court may suspend your sentence if you file with the court a bond with the amount and sureties the court requires.  At minimum, the bond must be conditioned on your compliance with the support order.

If the court does suspend your sentence, but you do not comply with the support order or another condition of the bond, the court may have a show cause hearing where you will have to appear and show cause why the court should not impose the sentence and enforce the bond.  After the hearing, the court may enforce the bond, impose the sentence, both, or may permit the filing of a new bond and again suspend the sentence.

This felony child support statute is one of strict liability, this means that a defendant cannot assert a defense at trial of the inability to pay.
If you have questions about child support in Michigan contact Ambrose Law Group at 248-624-5500 or visit our website

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Failure To Pay Child Support = Felony

If you are ordered by the court to pay child support and you do not pay the support in the amount or at the time stated in the court order, you’ve just commited a felony.   This felony is punishable by up to 4 years of imprisonment, by a fine of up to $2,000, or both. MCL 750.165

In order to bond out before the arraignment, you will be required to post a bond of 25% of the arrearage or at least $500.00, whatever amount is higher.  If you are unable to do so, the court will address the issue of bond at the arraignment and preliminary examination.  Unless good cause is show on the record, the court has to order the bond to continue at the amount of 25% of the arrearage or at least $500.00, whatever amount is higher.

If convicted the court may suspend your sentence if you file with the court a bond with the amount and sureties the court requires.  At minimum, the bond must be conditioned on your compliance with the support order.

If the court does suspend your sentence, but you do not comply with the support order or another condition of the bond, the court may have a show cause hearing where you will have to appear and show cause why the court should not impose the sentence and enforce the bond.  After the hearing, the court may enforce the bond, impose the sentence, both, or may permit the filing of a new bond and again suspend the sentence.

This felony child support statute is one of strict liability, this means that a defendant cannot assert a defense at trial of the inability to pay.

If you have questions about child support please contact David Lutz at (248) 624-5500

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Are You Required to Pay Child Support after Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights?

On March 4, 2010, the Michigan Court of Appeals made a ruling in the case of In re Beck Minors, which required the father to continue child support payments even after his rights were terminated by the court.

The court stated that the duty to pay survives a termination of parental rights and advances the goal of creating stability and permanency in the child’s life.

The court also stated that if the parent was not required to pay child support after a termination of rights, it may force the one parent to avoid reporting any abusive or neglectful behavior of the other parent in order to preserve financial support.

However, this case has not been finalized.  The Michigan Supreme Court  has granted leave to appeal.

What do you think about this?  What do you think the Michigan Supreme Court will rule?

If you have questions about your parental rights contact David Lutz at (248) 624-5500 or visit our website www.ambrosefamilylawattorney.com

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Spousal Support And The Ability To Earn Money

The determination of spousal support in Michigan is based upon a number of factors. These factors are spelled out time and time again in family court and include the length of the marriage, the conduct of the parties, the present situation and needs of the parties, the health of the parties, and the standard of living that the parties are accustomed to. But in this economy, an emerging factor has been predominant: each party’s ABILITY to earn income.

More often than not the ability to earn income has been railroaded by a sluggish working sector and a lack of available jobs. There are many people with college degrees working in restaurants and retail establishments for the simple fact that they cannot find a career in their particular field. When this occurs, the courts are right to account for the economy and decrease one parties ability to earn when deciding on an award of spousal support.

However, this is not how the facts of a recent Court of Appeals case went. This court recently remanded a case, stating that the trial court should have considered the defendant-wife’s un-exercised ability to earn in its spousal support award.

Here, the wife chose to work part time as a nurse rather than accepting the full time position that is continuously available at her hospital. This defendant was essentially told that she had a duty to exercise her ability to earn income because the option was available to her. The court found the award of spousal support un-equitable in light of the rest of the property agreement and the availability for her to earn more money.

This is important to anyone considering a divorce who hopes to receive or not pay spousal support. Make sure you are either exercising your full ability to earn money, or that the court considers any un-exercised ability to earn money before an agreement on spousal support is signed.

If you have any questions on spousal support please contact David Lutz at (248) 624-5500 and visit our website www.ambrosefamilylawattorney.com

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THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY-STATE REVENUE AND CHILD SUPPORT

The underground economy is said to be costing Michigan billions in lost taxes and revenue each year according to an article in the Detroit Legal News.

The underground economy is based on businesses and people conducting business “off the books” and paying employees “under the table.”  This is done in an effort to avoid paying taxes on earnings and profits.

It has become such a problem that a task force was created called “Underground Economy Task Force.”   A news report released last week by the Underground Economy Task force says Michigan is losing out on taxes and child support payments because of the “underground economy”.  The report also says the state should make doing business underground more difficult and costly.

Some parents are driven to work “under the table” because they can’t afford their current or back child support payments.  Courts should take action to adjust payments so financially stressed parent’s don’t feel forced to take these jobs.

In turn parent’s who depend on child support payments have nothing to collect because the non-custodial parent no longer shows an income. It is a vicious cycle and the child ends up losing.

One solution to this problem is called “imputation of income.”  Many counties (courts) will impute income to a person, which means that they will calculate child support based on the premise that the person should be able to at least work 40 hours a week and earn at least minimum wage; however some counties, including Wayne, will only impute income to a person for part-time (20 hours a week) at minimum wage.

The underground economy makes it very easy for many people to get out of paying child any child support; or support on what they are actually earning.  This only hurts the children in the end.

Also, because many people are forced to collect state aid to support their children, it ends up costing tax payers and the state a ton of money.

Lets hope that the task force can come up with some good ideas to eradicate this problem!

We would like to hear your thoughts on this issue!  Please leave a comment!

If you have any family law questions please contact Bill Godfrey at Bill@ambroselawgroup.com or call the office at (248) 624-5500

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Lowering Your Child Support Payment In Michigan

Have you lost your job, been laid off, or had to take a pay cut?  If so, you may be eligible to lower your child support or spousal support payments.

In these tough economic times, many people have had to adjust their expenses and give up many things they had once enjoyed.  Under the Michigan Child Support Guidelines, child support is calculated based on your income, the amount of overnight parenting time you have, the amount of medical insurance paid, and the cost of child care.  If your pay has decreased, or you are unemployed, you should request a review of your current child support obligation.  At Ambrose, we can run the guidelines for you at no cost to see if you qualify for a reduction. 

You can also visit the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual

If you are obligated to pay spousal support, and the language in your Judgment of Divorce says that spousal support is “modifiable,” then you may also qualify for a decrease in the amount of spousal support you have to pay, or you may be eligible to have spousal support terminate completely.

If you have any questions or would like further information regarding this issue, contact David Lutz at: (248) 624-5500; (313) 645-9219, David@ambroselawgroup.com, or visit www.ambrosefamilylaw.com.

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