There's a crackdown in Macomb County to get dead-beat parents to pay up. It's part of a week-long child support sweep organized by the Sheriff's Department and the Friend of the Court
"Our goal isn't to go out and arrest anybody that hasn't paid their child support, but if you're behind, and you know you're getting the letters and you're just ignoring the warnings, those are the individuals we're looking for," said Anthony Wickersham, the Macomb County Sheriff.
"We can right size a court order; we can remove arrerages if they're inappropriate that are owed to the state. The disadvantages of not cooperating is a warrant that doesn't go away," said Thomas Blohm with the Macomb County Friend of the Court.
Roughly a dozen deputies will be out on the streets looking for those with outstanding warrants and bringing them them to jail so they can appear before a judge. According to Wickersham, right now in Macomb County alone there are 3,500 people who are behind on their payments.
"Really, the ones that we're going to be focusing on ... are the ones that are as high as $30,000 in arrerages. We have to get ahold of those individuals and bring them in, and find out what's going on, get them either in front of the court or the judge to find out how come they're not paying," said Wickersham.
When a parent doesn't pay, ultimately it is the kids who do. Past due child support in Michigan is currently estimated at $6.9 billion.
"Our goal is always to do what's in the best interest for the minor children, and when one parent or the other doesn't share that same interest, it's always very disappointing," said Blohm.
Deputies would prefer not to have to track down someone and arrest them and bring them to jail. You can avoid all of that by stopping by the Macomb County Friend of the Court office on Main Street in Mt. Clemens. They are open from 8 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon.