A man originally from Michigan says he paid 25 years' worth of child support before realizing that the payments were for a child who died in 1988. The man said he did not notice that the payments being withdrawn from his bank account were for the child, who died of acute meningitis at the age of three, assuming they were for an older boy he fathered with the deceased child's mother. However, that child is now 34-year-old, making the man suspicious and leading him to investigate the child support payments he had made regularly for well over two decades.
Although the man has since moved away from Michigan, he has been forced to drive to Detroit on several occasions in order to present his claims to court officials. He says that attempting to clear himself from hundreds of miles away was difficult and "took a lot out of [him]."
When the man inquired about the continued payments, court officials told him they were back child support for the deceased boy. He presented a death certificate to the court to prove the supposed recipient was no longer alive, but officials then told him he was still obligated to pay around $43,000 in back support. The father was skeptical, asking the court for several audits. Each time an audit was completed, the court told him he owed less. The most recent audit found that the man owes approximately $6,460, but he contends that this figure is also too high as he has paid for two children for many years.
The man said that officials with the Friend of the Court were surprised to learn of his case. While they could not comment on the details of the case for privacy issues, clerks said some noncustodial parents are forced to pay inflated amounts due to surcharges formerly incurred by the state, though that practice has since been discontinued.
Source: NewsOne, "Detroit Man Still Pays Child Support For Son Who Died 25 Years Ago," Feb. 17, 2013