One of the most frustrating situations a custodial co-parent may face is not receiving the essential child support that was ordered by the court. However, you might be overwhelmed by the challenges when the payor parent moves or already lives out of state. Whether that person resides minutes or hours away, the border that stands between you is cause for concern. Fortunately, the Michigan’s Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) gives you legal power and effective tools for enforcing the child support order issued by a Michigan court, even when the payor is not a resident.
Because the process and legal concepts are complicated, it is wise to rely on a Michigan child support lawyer for assistance with the details. Some basics on how to collect child support from an out of state non-custodial parent may also be useful.
At the outset, keep in mind that you must first have a court order in place for child support before you can seek to enforce it across state borders. Once you do, logistics on locating a non-cooperative payor parent come into play. All US states have enacted their own versions of UIFSA that have reciprocal provisions, one of which requires other jurisdictions to help you find your child’s other parent and enforce child support obligations. Government agencies may review:
- Data on new or recent employment;
- Unemployment filings;
- Change of address or issuance of a new driver’s license;
- Credit bureau information; and,
- New services for electric, water, sewer, telecommunications, and other utilities.
Child Support Enforcement Under UIFSA
Through these resources, you have a way to contact a non-paying parent. However, through UIFSA, you also have the legal means to enforce a child support order. This is because UIFSA provides numerous circumstances under which a Michigan court can exercise personal jurisdiction over a co-parent. Once there is jurisdiction, courts in the states of both co-parents have the power to enforce through multiple options:
- Wage Garnishment: It is possible to receive child support and back due amounts via the non-custodial parent’s employer, which can be ordered to withhold the designated amount from wages.
- Liens and Attachment: You can enforce child support obligations by requesting that the responding state place an encumbrance on real estate, attach bank accounts, or re-direct income tax refunds.
- Criminal Charges: Nonpayment of child support can be a crime in certain situations, so you can press criminal charges. Still, a court will typically enforce through other means if the reason for not paying is legitimately related to difficulties with finances, disability, and/or employment.
Trust a Michigan Child Support Attorney for Legal Help
It is reassuring to know that you have options for collecting child support from your child’s other parent, but you can see the complexities involved when you need to enforce the order across state borders. You will need experienced representation to assist with the process, so please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to set up a consultation. After reviewing your situation, we can advise you on strategies and the next steps.