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Michigan law and the Federal Child Support Guidelines

Far too many divorced parents responsible for paying child support believe that moving out of Michigan, or the United States, ends their responsibility to pay child support. Their refusal to pay denies the custodial parent much needed financial assistance. The best interests of their children are clearly furthest from the minds of those parents who attempt to circumvent their responsibility to pay support by moving out of Michigan.

Sen. Robert Kosowski felt it was time to bring Michigan in line with Federal Child Support Guidelines. In the final days of 2015, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law the four-bill package sponsored by the Democratic state senator and passed with bipartisan support. The first day of the New Year saw the law take effect. It amended the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), repealing the current law and reenacting the 2008 version.

UIFSA aligns Michigan with federal child support guidelines, providing uniform rules for support order enforcement. More important for financially struggling parents, it ensures collection of international and interstate child support and simplifies the process. Additionally, employers no longer have to determine the legality of international child support orders.

Likely echoing parents' reactions' to Michigan's improved UIFSA, Sen. Kosowski summed it up succinctly, "This is a great way to start the New Year."

While the new laws streamline the process, challenges still exist for children denied support from their parent living out of state or overseas. Legal representation from a skilled attorney can help to overcome those obstacles. The best interests of sons and daughters of divorce are at stake.

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