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Michigan Attorney General's office collects over $100 million in child support

Michigan Attorney General's office

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says that office’s Child Support Division has passed an important marker: It has now collected more than $100 million in child support for delinquent parents.

The division launched in 2003. Since then, it’s used Michigan’s tough child support laws to enforce court-ordered payments.

Michiganis the only state that makes failure to pay child support a four-year felony.

Marilyn Stephen, director of the state Department of Human Services child support office, says the Attorney General’s office has the power to go after parents who have money, but no identifiable employer.

“Those are the hard cases. Those are the cases, as General Shuette said, that can pay but are not paying. That’s the trickiest work of all in child support.”

Schuette says the division also works because it can extradite people across state lines. Almost half of all child support offenders now live outside Michigan.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.