The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments today in a child support case out of Oakland County.
The attorney for Lawrence Beck is expected to argue that Beck shouldn’t have to pay child support because his rights were involuntarily terminated in a child protective proceeding. The trial court ordered that Beck’s child support obligation would continue.
Beck appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s ruling. In ordering the payments, the Appeals Court said that ending child support payments may lead to unreported cases of child abuse and neglect or abuse by a parent who wants to avoid paying child support.
The court stated that, “Terminating support from one parent places the full financial responsibility on the other parent, often with assistance from the state. Moreover, a rule that an involuntary termination of parental rights automatically discharges responsibility for child support would be detrimental to children in other ways”, the appellate court said. “Child abuse and neglect might go unreported in order to preserve a child’s right to financial support; likewise, an irresponsible parent could escape liability for child support by abusing or neglecting his or her child,” the panel observed.
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