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Can a person's license be suspended for failure to pay support?

It can be frustrating for Detroit residents when others do not play by the rules. Divorced parents often encounter this with their ex-spouse, particularly when it comes to issues involving child support -- as the other parent may not make the monthly payments that are required by court order.

When the other side refuses to follow the rules, there are certain methods that can be used for child support enforcement. While some of these methods deal directly with financial enforcement, other methods apply to different aspects of the payer's life.

For instance, one of the more targeted enforcement methods is to impose a license suspension on the person who fails to make child support payments. The payer's driver's license can be suspended, which has a significant effect on the person's ability to travel and is intended to force compliance with the order.

License suspensions can also be imposed in other areas beyond the driver's license. For example, a person's recreational or sporting license can be impacted, including a hunting license, fishing license or other similar type of license.

Moreover, if the person has a professional license in line with the person's career, that professional license can also be denied, suspended or revoked. This can pose a significant burden on the person's career, which underscores the severity with which child support orders can be enforced.

However, a license suspension will not typically be imposed immediately after a missed payment. Typically, the license suspension can occur if the parent is more than two months behind in child support payments. When this occurs, the license suspension may be one of many tools that can be used to secure compliance with the child support order.

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, "Enforcing Support," accessed on Dec. 5, 2015

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