Parents in Michigan who are owed back child support might be able to recover payments through state or federal courts. Those who seek to recover via state courts can prepare for court appearances by gathering evidence that they have already attempted to collect outstanding child support from the other parent and that the non-custodial parent has not made child support payments for a significant time period. In cases where the parents were not married when the child was conceived or born, the court may require evidence that the father was made aware of his paternity.

In 1992, the federal government passed the Child Support Recovery Act. This law was designed to make it easier to prosecute parents who are not meeting child support obligations and to act as a deterrent against non-payment. The circumstances in which a parent may rely on federal courts to help with child support recovery are limited. Federal courts will first consider whether recovery is available through the state courts, whether the payor has a history of moving to avoid payment obligations and if the payor has attempted to conceal his or her whereabouts to avoid making payments.

Parents who seek to recover back child support through the federal courts can prepare for appearances by gathering evidence that the payor parent willfully did not make payments. They will also have to establish that the payor has an outstanding debt of $5,000 or more that is at least one year old and that the child resides in a different state than the payor parent.

People in Michigan who are owed back child support might benefit from the assistance of an attorney. Legal counsel with experience in divorce or family law might be able to help by gathering evidence to establish the jurisdiction of state or federal courts. The attorney could argue on the parent’s behalf during family court proceedings.