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Dozens of Michigan parents arrested for felony child support charges

If you're accused of murder, assault, robbery, or drug possession, you may realize that the allegations are serious and take appropriate action to protect yourself in the event that charges are filed. But sometimes it is not as apparent that an act can lead to serious felony charges.

In fact, many may not realize that failure to pay child support can lead to a felony criminal charge. Unfortunately, several dozen individuals from Southeast Michigan were recently arrested in a sweep targeting parents who owe child support.

There are likely many different reasons why a parent is unable to make child support payments. Sometimes it is just a refusal to pay. But in other situations a sudden and unexpected problem comes up, like a medical condition or unemployment. This can significantly impact a parent's financial situation. But if a parent simply does not have the means to pay, does it make sense to arrest them?

Those who were arrested owed anywhere from $10,000 to nearly $60,000 in unpaid child support. And while the intent of these sweeps is to remind parents that they have a responsibility, it seems like it does little to actually enforce payments. If a parent is in jail or in custody awaiting a court appearance, there is little he or she can do to get more money, especially since being unable to pay is the reason they were arrested in the first place.

Currently, the solution is apparently to arrest those who have missed child support payments. And even if arresting parents may not be the best way to solve the problem, parents will still be facing felony charges. A conviction for a felony could impact an individual for the rest of his or her life. For a parent, it could make child support even more difficult to pay.

Source: Daily Tribune: "Eleven from Oakland County arrested in felony child support sweep," Dave Phillips, Sept. 29, 2011

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