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Michigan governor sets aside money for child support program

It's that time of years when governors release proposed state budgets. Governor Rick Snyder just released his budget ideas for 2014 and over two-thirds of the funds are to be earmarked for education and health and human services. The governor sees the state heading in a positive direction after the recent economic downturn and hopes that the budget will keep the state trending in that direction.

Under the human services funding is money to help children and families. Child support enforcement can be a big problem and the 2014 budget sets aside $180 million for a program to help Michigan children get the funding and support they deserve. The program will help collect money from absent parents.

The governor's decision to provide funding for the child support program could be a boon to many Michigan families. Enforcing child support payments allows children to have the resources and money that is rightfully theirs.

Child support in Michigan is not necessarily negotiable and it is not up to the non-custodial parent whether or not to pay this amount stated in a court order. Courts often determine the amount of child support to be paid based on a formula, although a judge can deviate from this amount if appropriate. Because a court order is so binding, both parties may want to seek legal representation in matter to ensure the fairest outcome.

Once the court hands down an order, the amount must be paid. But the judicial system understands that life happens and circumstances may arise where the non-custodial parent can no longer pay the support amount. For this reason, child support can be modified up until the day when the child becomes an adult.

Source: WXYZ ABC 7, "Governor Rick Snyder introduces state budget plan for 2014," Feb. 7, 2013

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