child support

Politics & Government
1:55 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Turning to Michigan casinos to help collect unpaid child support

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the future, parents who fail to pay their child support might be risking more at Michigan casinos than they realize.

A state House committee recently approved a package of bills to streamline and improve child support collection. One of the bills would require casinos in

Michigan to check to see if big winners owe back child support. Casinos already check to see if big winners owe back taxes.

Ken Kurtz is a state representative from Coldwater. He says this would not be a major inconvenience for casino operators.

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Health
4:39 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

New blood test can determine paternity before birth

The ArcPoint Lab in Kalamazoo
Rick Van Laan ArcPoint Labs

Pregnant women in Michigan can now use a simple blood test to identify the father of their unborn child.

Three labs across the state now offer the noninvasive prenatal paternity test. The Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing sites are part of the ArcPoint Franchise Group.

With only a blood sample from the mother and a cheek swab from the potential father, paternity can be determined as early as five weeks after conception.

At that time, the pregnant woman's blood starts carrying fragments of the fetus' DNA.

The labs send the mother's blood samples and potential father's cheek swab to a different lab in Columbia, Md., where technicians compare genetic markers to determine paternity.

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Children
5:10 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Michigan making progress in collecting child support

(Flickr Blind Pew)

A new report says about 70% of  children in Michigan who are eligible for child support do receive the payments. An Auditor General’s report on Michigan’s child support system says about $3 billion in child support payments were collected over the last two years.    

Marilyn Stephen is the director of Child Support with the Department of Human Services. She says the number of eligible kids who receive child support payments could always be better. 

“I don’t know that I’d categorize it as either good or bad. It’s great that there are 70% of children who are receiving the support that they are entitled to, but that means that there’s 30% that we spend probably 90 percent of our time looking for and trying to identify income and assets.”

Stephen  doubts the state will never be able to make every parent pay child support.

 “I would submit that we’ll probably never be at zero, because there will probably always be individuals who lack the education and the job history and frankly the employment to pay their child support. So that’s a persistent problem, and not just in Michigan, but across the nation, and really across the world.”

Stephen says the state’s child support program is a great return on investment for taxpayers, with more than $6 in child support collected for every dollar spent.