A recent story out of Michigan takes child support enforcement to a new level. Children have a right to court ordered support and they depend on the money from their parents to provide for daily needs, as well as incidental expenses. This is why enforcement is so critical.
But for one father in Detroit, he rightly questioned why he was still making child support payments. The man’s son died of acute meningitis 25 years ago. The boy was three years old when he died. But his father was still making child support payments for the boy as of 2011.
He never questioned the payments until recently because he mistakenly thought they were for another child, the brother of the deceased boy. The brother was seven years older and is currently 34 years old.
A Wayne County Friend of the Court said that they were never told that the child was dead and also cited low staffing as an issue.
The father is struggling to clear his name and put this issue to rest. The process is difficult because he lives in another state than the mother and her son who both live in Kentucky.
The story highlights the importance of child support but also the fallibility of the state systems that are supposed to monitor payments. Parents should be sure to talk with an attorney if there is ever an issue with child support. This goes for both parties, the custodial parent and the paying, non-custodial parent. Many factors go into a child support order and both sides need to adequately understand the situation in order to provide for their children.
Source: Michigan Chronicle, “Detroit Man Still Pays Child Support For Son Who Died 25 Years Go,” Roz Edward, Feb. 18, 2013