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Child support statute of limitations.

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Suppose a parent has not paid child support in 10 years, is the child support order still enforceable?

The answer is found in the current child support statute of limitations law.

Michigan compiled Laws section 600.5809(4) provides that the child support statute of limitations is 10 years from the date the last support payment is due.  Once the child support statute of limitations has expired, the child support order is no longer enforceable.

Since most child support payments end when a child turns 18 the child support statute of limitations typically expires when the child turns 28.

The old child support statute of limitations law.

For support orders entered prior to 1997 the child support statute of limitations is 10 years after each support payment became due.  Unlike the current child support statute of limitations, each and every child support payment had a 10 year enforcement window.  Since the current statute is not retroactive, a child support order entered prior to 1997 must follow the old law.

Extending or tolling the child support statute of limitations law.

The child support statute of limitations can be extended if a partial payment is made on the debt before the 10 year child support statute of limitations expires.  This applies even if the payment is made involuntarily.  If a partial payment is made, the child support statute of limitations stars all over for a fresh 10 years.  However, once the child support statute of limitations has run, the child support order is no longer enforceable, even if a payment is made.

Sources:  Yeiter v. Knights of St. Casimir Aid Society – 461 Mich. 493 (2000) and Wayne County Social Services v. Yates 261 Mich App. 152 (2004)

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