State secures $62 million in child support
LANSING — Attorney General Bill Schuette Tuesday commemorated National Child Support Awareness Month with an update on Attorney General Child Support Division efforts to secure millions of dollars in direct support for Michigan children from non-custodial parents.
“It has been a privilege to help thousands of children across the state, securing $62 million in direct support for families who are already struggling to cope with an absent parent,” said Schuette. “Our message is clear: if you have the ability to pay child support and refuse to do so, we will hold you accountable.”
Since taking office, Schuette’s Child Support Division has secured more than $62 million that directly benefited approximately 4,571 children.
This is an accelerated rate of collections, with about half of the dollars collected coming from non-custodial parents who live outside of Michigan.
The division has returned more than $7 million to the State of Michigan, which translates to a rate of $5 returned for every dollar expended to conduct the division’s enforcement actions.
If you consider all monies returned to the state and the families, the Child Support Division returns $23 for every dollar spent.
Since Jan. 1, 2010, the division has issued 3,064 warrants, involving more than $101 million owed to 4,935 children.
A total of 11,718 children has received child support funds owed to them since the Attorney General’s Child Support Division launched in 2003.
In total, the Child Support Division has collected more than $144 million, according to the most recent statistics available.
Since its launch, the office has averaged approximately 900 warrants and 770 arrests per year.
In the last 90 days, the division collected lump sums child support payments for the following counties:
• Calhoun, $15,000
• Clinton, $7,000
• Delta, $26,000
• Livingston, $62,000
• Monroe, $17,000
• Ottawa, $28,000
• Washtenaw, $15,000
• Wayne, $39,000
Schuette noted the Child Support Division focuses on those parents who have an ability to pay, but refuse to do so.
Michigan is the only state where failure to pay child support is a four-year felony.
The mission of the Child Support Division is to enforce child support orders by prosecuting those individuals who have a history of non-payment and significant arrearages of at least $10,000.
Schuette said his office focuses on non-custodial parents resuming regular child support payments — not jail time.
As a result, Michigan kids are paid what they are owed and subsequently receive consistent support into the future.
Oftentimes the recognition of potential criminal prosecution is enough to encourage a non-custodial parent to act before setting foot in a courtroom.
“The threat of criminal prosecution can be a very strong motivator,” said Schuette. “Our goal is to insure parents resume regular, on-time payments that children can count on.”