Despite the fact he is now married to the mother, a Michigan father is still being forced to pay for child support.
Todd Ulrich thought child support payments for his four-year-old daughter, Aubrey, would naturally cease when he married her mother, Cassie, but instead he is paying even more, WNEM reports.
"Now we're at the point where Lapeer County doesn't want to drop the child support case, so I'm basically paying double for her," Ulrich said.
Now, he says, he fears he may receive a bench warrant -- which means the court may mandate his arrest for being behind on child support payments.
This is despite the fact that both parents are married and financially support the child, and both are experiencing hardship to the point where neither can live together due to lack of money.
"Our plan this year was to get our taxes, get my wife's car on the road, and find an apartment or something,” Ulrich said.
Yet it looks like that may not happen as the court took $1,200 from their taxes while refusing to give a clear answer why.
"They tell me I have to pay money and file these papers and take time off of work, and miss time off of work, and all that, and lose out on a bunch of more money to get my money back. Our money back," Cassie said.
"I really don't feel this is legal or legit, you know. You're going to have me paying outside. You know we're married. You have the copy. We're coming up on a year of being married, but you're still going to keep the child support going. It's just not right," Todd added.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, in 2014 nearly 60 percent of parents involved in child support cases owe the department money, with an average debt of $1,750.
Punishments for those who fail to pay back their debts can be severe. In 2014, Michigan froze or seized $6.75 million in financial assets from these parents, and suspended the driver licenses of more than 5,000 people.
Others are reported to credit bureaus while some can even be charged with a felony.