LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Wednesday that his Child Support Division passed $155 million in secured funds for children in Michigan since its launch in 2003.
The Child Support Division helped 12,500 children receive more than $155 million in child support funds owed to them. The division averages approximately 907 warrants and 781 arrests per year.
"It is a privilege to help thousands of children across Michigan, securing $155 million in direct support for families that are already struggling to cope with an absent mom or dad," Schuette said. "Our message is clear: if you have the ability to pay child support and refuse to do so, we will hold you accountable."
Since 2006, the division also returned more than $14.5 million to the state to help families in need. The Child Support Division returns approximately $23 to Michigan taxpayers for every dollar spent.
The division focuses on parents who have an ability to pay but refuse to do so. Failure to pay child support is a four-year felony in the state of Michigan. The mission of the Child Support Division is to enforce child support orders by prosecuting individuals with a history of nonpayment and significant arrearages of at least $10,000.
"The threat of criminal prosecution can be a very strong motivator," Schuette said. "Our goal is to ensure parents resume regular, on-time payments that children can count on."
The division also prosecutes out-of-state offenders. Schuette uses his relationships with law enforcement nationwide, existing contract for prisoner transport services and expertise with the extradition process to track down and prosecute out-of-state offenders.
"If you flee the state in an effort to avoid your child support obligations, we will find you and set things right," Schuette said. "For the Michigan attorney general's office, out-of-sight is not out-of-mind."