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Michigan child support sweeps are a success

Sometimes, parents just refuse to pay child support. In extreme cases, Michigan family court officials have no choice but to issue arrest warrants against these non-paying parents. This is what one Michigan county attempted over the summer as part of a child support enforcement program.

Genesee County collected over $125,000 in past-due support payments this summer. Parents facing a potential arrest were given a choice: they could make the over-due payments or they could be arrested and brought into court for contempt.

The collection efforts focused on counties in Southeast Michigan. Oakland County had the biggest payout at $47,000 from parents. Law enforcement and social workers contacted almost 130 parents in order to collect the money owed.

Tracking down child support payments is not always as easy as it sounds. Parents and families move around and sometimes parents do not live in the county where they owe support. Traditionally in these types of cases, local police arrest non-paying parents, and then the Friend of the Court workers are responsible for bringing the parents back to the county where money is due.

These large-scale sweeps, like the one this summer, are more efficient up-front because workers can make contacts with a number of parents in one trip, but it also means more trips for workers to travel outside the country to retrieve the parents who were arrested.

The success of the summer efforts has officials looking toward even larger counties, such as Oakland and Wayne. Nonetheless, parents do not have to wait for organized efforts in order to enforce child support payments. Parents can talk to an attorney and figure out the options available to get the support for their children.

Source: MLive, "Child support sweeps outside Genesee County this year net $125,000 so far," Ron Fonger, Sept. 16, 2013.

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