Are you an out-of-state resident trying to enforce a child support order in Michigan? Or, were you a Michigan resident who is trying to enforce a Michigan order in another state? If the answer is “yes,” you might wonder about whether you have the ability to go to court for help if the other side refuses to pay child support. The good news is, child support orders, regardless of what state they arise in, are going to be enforceable.
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) establishes that a child support order from Michigan may be enforced in other states, and that child support orders made in other jurisdictions will almost always be enforced in Michigan. The state may either initiate proceedings to enforce a child support order, or it may respond to them under the UIFSA.
Michigan Courts Need Jurisdiction
A Michigan court must have jurisdiction to enforce child support orders. To order child support, the court must have in personam jurisdiction over the defendant. Hillsdale County Dep’t of Soc Servs v Lee, 175 Mich App 95, 437 NW2d 293 (1989). If the parent is not a resident of Michigan, this entails not only personal service under MCR 2.105 but also sufficient contacts between the defendant and the state of Michigan to justify Michigan’s assuming jurisdiction over the defendant. Id.
When Do Michigan Courts Have Jurisdiction?
A Michigan court has jurisdiction to enforce a child support order filed in Michigan first, and then in another state where:
• The petition or comparable pleading in this state is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in the other state for filing a responsive pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by the other state;
• The contesting party timely challenges the exercise of jurisdiction in the other state; and
• If relevant, this state is the child’s home state.
A Michigan court has jurisdiction for child support orders made in other states where:
• The pleading is filed in Michigan before the other state’s time expires for filing a responsive pleading challenging the other state’s exercise of jurisdiction;
• The party challenges the other state’s exercise of jurisdiction in a timely manner, and
• If relevant, Michigan is the child’s home state.
Child Support Arrears
Penalties for being behind on one’s child support obligations which originate from a state other than Michigan are enforced in the same manner as if the obligations originated in Michigan. A court has the power to hold a party who is in arrears in contempt. The court’s contempt power may be used to suspend licenses, add additional costs or fines, and on some occasions, even issue a warrant for an individual’s arrest.
Michigan Child Support Attorneys
We are Michigan child support attorneys who help parents get the child support that they are owed, but who are having a difficult time collecting it. Contact our office today; we can help you. (586-268-2400). If you require additional information, please visit Michigan Child Support Attorney.