Information for Employers
As an employer and taxpayer, be aware that federal and state programs have been established to ensure that parents support their children. These programs both encourage family responsibility and reduce taxpayer costs for welfare benefits such as Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF).
As a part of these programs, employers and other persons who pay income to persons required by court order to pay support must withhold certain amounts of income when served with an order of income withholding. The amounts withheld must then be sent to the Friend of the Court in the appropriate county.
Changes to Michigan law as of January 1, 1991, have expanded employers' involvement. The law requires income withholding take place immediately for almost all new or modified support orders. Under prior law, this would be required only when a parent fell behind in support payments. This is no longer true. All parents who pay support under support orders entered after January 1, 1991, will be subject to income withholding.
Income withholding for child support is not punishment, any more than withholding of income tax is a punishment. The information provided on this web page is intended to serve as a brief summary of your responsibilities as an employer under current law.
Laws Pertaining to Withholding
- Friend of the Court Act: Michigan Compiled Law 552.501- 552.535; also found in Michigan Statutes Annotated 25.176(1)-25.176(35)
- Support and Visitation Enforcement Act: Michigan Compiled Law 552.601- 552.650; also found in Michigan Statutes Annotated 25.164(1)-25.164 (50)
- Consumer Credit Protection Act: Title III, Section 303(b) of Public Law 90-321, 15 USC, 1673(b)
The maximum amount taken out must comply with Section 303(b) of Title III of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 USC 1673(b)). Although deductions for garnishments are limited to 25% of a person's disposable income, amounts withheld for child support can exceed 50% of the employee's disposable income for a work week in certain cases (such as when there are no other support obligations or there is arrearage in excess of 12 weeks).
If withholding of more than 50% of the employee's income is required by the income withholding order, you should contact the Friend of the Court for information, or consult with an attorney.
Upon the Friend of the Court's request, the employer is required to provide:
- Amount of wages earned by or other income due to the parent
- Date of birth
- Employment status
- Full name and address of parent
- Information concerning dependent health care coverage if it is available as a benefit of employment
- Social security number
A Special Note to Employers
Employers are making a valuable contribution to the lives of children when they withhold and forward support payments on a timely basis. Employers have become a valued partner in one of the most effective support enforcement programs in the nation. This continued partnership between the public and private sectors will ensure that Michigan's children have the opportunity to lead happy and healthy lives.