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October is Child Support Month in Michigan

There is perhaps no more difficult job for Detroit residents than raising a child. Being a parent comes along with challenges in virtually every area of life. This includes serious financial challenges, as it seems as though the costs of raising a child are ever increasing.

Divorce can increase the financial challenges even more, as a custodial parent is tasked with meeting the same expenses for the child with only one income. As a result, child support is a financial lifeline for many Michigan residents.

In view of the importance of child support, Michigan's Governor recently declared October to be Child Support Month. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 1 million children receive some form of child support assistance in the State. Last year, more than $1.34 billion was collected for child support, with the majority of that figure, $1.05 billion, being withheld from parents' paychecks to meet their monthly payments. Another $7.95 million was received through intercepting state and local tax refunds, while about $6.75 million was received through seizing assets.

These figures demonstrate not only how important child support payments are to Michigan parents, but how there are different ways to go about collecting the payments. Garnishing wages, intercepting taxes and seizing assets are three primary means of obtaining support payments, and there may be other options available for enforcement when a payor does not make the payments ordered by the court. Accordingly, during Child Support Month, individuals impacted by child support payments should understand their legal rights and how they can best protect and enforce those rights in their particular case.

Source: Daily Tribune, "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declares October Child Support Month," Brian Johnston, Oct. 23, 2015

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