Parents with primary custody of their children often rely on child support for covering their children’s daily expenses. From paying for health insurance to covering school expenses, raising a child after divorce can be expensive. Unfortunately, some parents simply choose to not pay their court-ordered child support. Michigan family law gives parents options for securing support from nonpaying parents, including seeking back child support when necessary.
An out-of-state woman recently made national headlines when she sought child support from her ex-husband. The 74-year-old woman got divorced nearly 50 years ago and her ex was ordered to pay child support at the time. Instead of paying he reportedly moved to another country and left his financial obligation behind. At the time the woman focused on raising her daughter without support.
When the woman discovered that her ex had moved back to the United States and that the state she was living in did not have a statute of limitations on child support, she decided to take action. She filed a petition with the court for back child support, and a judge granted the request. Her ex-husband was ordered to pay the original $30,000 he owed plus 10 percent interest. This would have amounted to nearly $170,000, but they were able to reach a settlement of $150,000.
Child support is not a punishment to parents who do not have primary custody or for those who have joint custody but earn more than their ex. Support helps maintain a child’s financial security and well-being, ensuring access to basic needs such as housing and health care, and even things like extracurricular activities. Since Michigan family law has a statute of limitations on seeking back child support, parents who have not been receiving support should consider filing a petition sooner rather than later.