Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Case Law Development: Statutory Amendment Limiting Back Child Support Applies Prospectively Only

In 2004, the Michigan legislature amended its child support statute to provide that child support obligations may be retroactive only to the date of the filing of the paternity action, rather than to the date of the child's birth.  Exceptions are provided in certain instances in which the defendant has caused a delay in the filing.  The Michigan Court of Appeals has held that the statute should apply prospectively only because "the amended statutory scheme significantly impacts both children's substantive right to support by altering the extent of any potential award, and ... there is no express indication in the statutory language that the 2004 amendment should apply retroactively."  Thus, Mother's actions for paternity and child support, filed before the effective date of the act, would be determined without reference to the limitations imposed by the amended statute.

McLaren v. Miller, 2005 Mich. App. LEXIS 2528 (October 14, 2005)

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