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Changes To Driver’s License Suspension Rules For Non-Payment Of Child Support In Michigan

As of October 2021, the laws determining when the Friend of the Court can request a driver’s license suspension for non-payment of child support have changed to include additional requirements. This amendment represents a change in the law requiring the Friend of the Court to establish certain elements to obtain a driver’s license suspension in a child support case, granting the payer more protection from inappropriate or unfair license suspensions. Before the change in the law, a friend of the court was able to more easily obtain driver’s license suspensions for those who are late or have not paid their child support. This article will discuss the previous rules, the changes, and how those changes could affect you.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys In Michigan

Family law proceedings can be hard to handle both legally and emotionally. When involved in these kinds of cases, it is essential to have someone who understands the law and the tactics used by other parties. An experienced family law attorney understands the laws and legal proceedings and can help you navigate those proceedings and deflect those tactics. Ravi R. Gurumurthy has extensive family law experience, successfully representing clients in cases involving divorce, child custody, parenting time, and more. For a free consultation with Law Offices of Ravi R. Gurumurthy, call (231) 577-1580 or contact us online.

Driver’s License Suspension Rules For Child Support Non-Payers

Pre-October 1st, 2021 Amendment Rules

The Friend of the Court is a part of the circuit court family division supervised by the chief judge that assists the court with custody, parenting time, and child support issues. The Friend of the Court (FOC) investigates and submits recommendations regarding custody, parenting time, child support, and medical support, which helps parents settle disputes during and after their case. Before the October 1, 2021 amendment, the FOC could request that the court suspend the driver’s license of a person not paying child support in violation of a court order. In the past, the FOC could send a notice of intent to suspend the payer’s license directly. If the payer did not respond to the notice in court, the court would grant the FOC’s request.

Post-Amendment Rules

The new law (MCL 556.28) imposed a few changes to the FOC’s process to request driver’s license suspension for non-payers. As of October 1, 2021, the FOC can only request a suspension of a driver’s license in child support disputes when:

  • The court determines that the payer is willfully not making their support payments even though the court has determined by an ability to pay an assessment that they can make payments on the support obligation and;
  • The FOC determines that no other sanction would ensure regular payments from the payer on their support obligation.

The amendment to the preexisting non-payer driver’s license suspensions rules requires that these two elements be met before the FOC may suspend a payer’s driver’s license.

Changes To Payer Driver’s License Rules In Child Support Cases

Changes to driver’s license suspension rules in child support cases mean that the FOC must do more to obtain the suspension. Under the previous regulations, the FOC did not have to prove as much to the court to support a notice to obtain a suspension. The FOC did not have to show evidence to get a driver’s license suspension. It only had to make the request, and assuming that the payer in the case did not fight or respond to its request in court, the request would be granted. Using the previous rules, the FOC did not have to prove any non-compliance with the court’s child support order to get the suspension they requested. The new amendment to the rules requires that the FOC shows some evidence that the payer is not following the court’s order and that suspending their driver’s license is the only way to make them pay. Requiring the FOC to prove these two elements sets a higher bar to obtain a suspension which provides more protection to those paying child support.

Hiring A Family Law Attorney In Michigan

Family law cases can be especially devastating even without the court proceedings and opposing counsel’s tactics. The stakes are high in family law, whether it be divorce cases, child support, or even child custody. One mistake could lead to disastrous consequences, from losing your way of life to the custody of children. In cases like these, where there can be so much to lose, it is crucial that you present the best case possible. Hiring an experienced family law attorney is the best step to ensuring that your case is well and thoroughly presented before the court. An experienced family law attorney understands the rules, legal proceedings, and tactics used by opposing counsel during these cases. Your attorney will help you navigate the court proceedings to help you achieve the best result. Law Offices of Ravi R. Gurumurthy has extensive family law experience and are ready to fight for you. To learn more or to schedule your free initial case consultation, call us at (231) 577-1580 or visit us at our website.


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