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Woman sought help from insurance company to recover child support


When a couple with children divorces, the issue of child support is one of the most important issues to resolve. Sometimes, the parties can reach an agreement and everything remains amicable. Unfortunately, in most child support cases, the situation is not worked out between the parties and court involvement is necessary. Using a mathematical formula, a court in Michigan will determine which parent must pay child support and how much that parent will be required to pay to the children's primary caretaker.

Typically, a child support case is just between a mother and a father. However, a woman in Chicago is fighting not only her husband but also the insurance company from which the man receives most of his income as a chiropractor. The man was originally ordered to pay over $900 a month to his ex-wife for child support and alimony. After the man missed several payments, the woman asked the insurance company to garnish his wages. The insurance company refused the woman's request and the woman filed a complaint with the court.

The insurance company has argued all along that it does not fall under the classification of "payor" as defined by the applicable state law. The trial court initially agreed, however, when the woman appealed the case, the appellate court found in her favor. Now, in addition to the child support payments the woman is owed to her by her ex-husband, she is arguing that the insurance company must pay a penalty to her because it knowingly violated the law.

If one parent has exhausted all other methods in an attempt to collect unpaid child support, the parent who has failed to pay may be criminally prosecuted. In Michigan, failure to pay child support is a felony offense, which can result in imprisonment.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Woman battling Blue Cross over child support," Lisa Black, September 1, 2013

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