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Divorce, child support and avoiding responsibility

Years ago, the typical Michigan household consisted of mom, dad and the children. However, today's reality is that many households have gone through the divorce process, and one parent is no longer an everyday presence in the home. Regardless, for the most part, the noncustodial parent is diligent in meeting child support obligations.

However, in some instances, the noncustodial parent is unable or unwilling to fulfill court-ordered child support obligations. When this happens, it is ultimately the child who loses out. For this reason, the Michigan courts have taken a dim view of this practice and have established methods to ensure that Michigan's children are taken care of.

Recently, in one nearby state, a father went to drastic measures to avoid his child support obligations. According to reports, the father was once part of the witness protection program. However, he was removed from this program several years ago. Despite this fact, he continued to indicate to his children's mother and the court that he was in fact still in the program and thus unable to meet such obligations. He claimed that holding a job could jeopardize his security.

The courts have now determined that this was a ruse to avoid his duty to financially support his children. As such, the court has now ordered that he begin paying $2,000 per month toward the over $400,000 he owes in child support as determined in the divorce. While this case may appear to be extreme in terms of the average Michigan family, there are times when the noncustodial parent goes to great lengths to avoid responsibility. When this happens, it may be in the custodial parent's best interest to seek legal recourse.

Source: New York Post, "Deadbeat dad faked witness protection to avoid child support", Emily Saul, Sept. 5, 2017

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