Michigan county is giving the ‘boot’ to delinquent parents

If you are a parent struggling to make ends meet, you may rely on child support payments to help provide food, clothing and other basic necessities for your children. As such, it can be absolutely devastating when a parent fails to meet their court-ordered obligations to pay child support, as it causes your children to suffer unnecessarily.

Interestingly, officials in one Michigan county have devised a rather inventive yet altogether simple method of helping ensure that parents pay all past due child support and remain current on their payments.

Here, the method in question is not confiscating their tax returns or gambling winnings, or even throwing them in jail (all of which can prove to be effective), but rather immobilizing their automobile.

According to reports, Ottawa County officials are putting away the handcuffs and taking out the parking boots, which are specialized devices that prevent people from moving their cars without tearing their tires to shreds.

The process is relatively simple. Law enforcement officials identify those parties who have a bench warrant out for their arrest for failure to pay child support, drive to their home and put the boot on their car. When the scofflaw comes outside, they will find their car immovable and information under their windshield wiper outlining how they can get the boot removed.

“As I’m approaching the house, the person will come outside and say ‘I’ll take care of the bench warrant, you don’t have to boot my car,” said one sheriff’s deputy of his typical encounter.

To date, the parking boots have been placed on 35 cars, resulting in the collection of over $17,000 in child support arrears for families throughout the county. In fact, the collection efforts have proven so successful that three other Michigan counties will soon be following suit.

“We have traveled there with the boot, given them a demonstration, and from my understanding it’s something they will be implementing,” said the deputy.

To learn more about nonpayment of child support or other post-divorce issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


WFMY-2, “Parents late with child support get boot on car in Michigan,” March 6, 2013