I would like to provide you with some information regarding your question.
In order to collect either child support or arrearages (past due amounts of child support) in the state of Michigan) one must bring a suit for either before the statute of limitations passes. The statue of limitations apply various time limits to bring suit. If a suit is not filed or, in your brother's case, if collection for past due support is not sought within a certain number of years then the suit or collection attempts are barred.
In order to file a suit for child support in your state, the iniital suit must be brought by either the time the child reaches the age of 18, or if a later age is agreed to due to the child still being in school or a disability, by the time the child reaches the age when child support should terminate. Based on the information you provided, this was done in a timely manner.
So, the next question is how long is the statute of limitation to collect past due child support. According to Michigan law, the statue of limitations on collecting arrearages is 10 years from the time the last child support payment was due. If there was a judgment for arrearages within this 10 year period, then the judgment is valid; however, it is a recent judgment, you should contact an attorney in your area, with whom you can meet personally, to fully discuss all the dates and facts and who can look through the legal documents which pertain to your brother's case. The lawyer will let you know if the judgment is barred by the statute of limitations or if there is some other way to challenge the order.
Finally, as to your last statement that your brother's child never lived with his mother
. The rule is not so much did he live with her but raises the question of did she provide support for him wherever he lived. If she did not, you should discuss the matter in person with an attorney. Because even if she is not entitled to the child support, someone else maybe. A local attorney can inform you how you should proceed regarding this issue and can gather facts from you necessary to determine if you have legal grounds to challenge the child support based on evidence that you can present in court.
Generally, many courts will state that as each child support payment is due every month it is a final order. Some courts will withdraw the order or modify it, some will not. Again, an attorney in your area can advise you on this matter.
I see you do understand that social security benifits can be garnished for purposes of collecting child support. However, to provide you with information behind the actual laws here is a link regarding the subject which also cites the federal allow which allows this to happen:
I have provided you with the general principles which apply to the issues you stated in you question which I know are very concerning to you. I understand it is difficult to live on social security benifits alone and to have to lose any portion can have serious effects on your brother's economic situation.
Please ask me any follow up questions you may have. If I can offer any clarification on any of the information I have provided, please ask. I want to make sure you are satisfied with my answer and your experience with Just Answer. However, I cannot stress enough that it is very important for you to contact an attorney you and your brother can meet with personally to discuss this matter. I understand that finances are limited so here are some links for legal aid offices in Michigan which may be able to assist your brother:
(Contact the attorney listed under "Divorce Attorneys" on this link
I do not know which part of the state you live in so I have provided you legal aid offices which provide services for three areas in your state. Any one of them should be able to direct you to the correct office.
I also included other organizations which provide free legal service to residents of Michigan. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX is able to help you and your brother.
As I stated, please ask any follow up questions you may have. I will be happy to provide answers until you are satisfied I have answered your question.
I will schedule a follow up with for two days from now in the event you think of any items you would like additional information on.
In the event I have provided you with the information you need and been able to guide you in the direction you need to go and you do not have any follow up questions, I would greatly appreciate a rating of a 3, 4 or 5 so that future Just Answer customers can have the benifit of your seeing how you rate my services. Also, if I do not receive a rating of a 3, 4 or 5 I will not receive payment for the Answer I provided you.
I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX and your brother all the best and I hope everything works out for him.