Statute of Limitations--Child Support

MCL 600.5809 (4) (1982) states that "For an action to enforce a support order that is enforceable under the support and parenting time enforcement act being sections 552.601 to 552.650 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, the period of limitations is 10 years from the date that the last support payment is due under the support order regardless of whether or not the last payment is made."

In Jensen v. Jensen, No. 223566 (Unpublished, August 28, 2001) enforcement proceedings commenced prior to the enactment of the specific statute and, hence, "the limitation period begins to run as each payment is due." The obligor sought to use this reality to avoid a 1996 show cause but the court of appeals found that a payment made in 1988 was a "partial payment" constituting an admission of the "full debt". The payment was a waiver of limitations "and the limitations period began to run anew from the date of that payment." See also Alpena FOC v. Durecki, 195 Mich App 635 (1992).

In Hart v. Hart, No 228899 (Unpublished, March 5, 2002) it is held that an order of income withholding was a functional waiver of the SOL claim where the OIW ran after the ten year period had expired. The payer’s claim that the OIW payments were not "voluntary" was brushed aside by the court.