Whenever the prosecuting attorney files to establish support on behalf of a child born to an unmarried mother, and medicaid has paid the expenses of the birth and confinement, the court will order that those costs should be reimbursed. This law, MCL 722.712(5) was amended effective October 1, 2004. The amendment, in an effort to promote marriage, allows for those expenses to be abated (erased) if the parents marry.
A recent court of appeals case has decided a case of first impression (for laypersons, this means that the issue has not been decided by an appellate court yet). In Booker v Shannon, the parents had four children while they were unmarried. The birth and confinement costs were paid by medicaid and orders were entered for the father to pay child support and the expenses covered by medicaid. Then the parents married and ten years after the orders had been entered, the father asked the trial court to relieve him of the medicaid reimbursement. The trial court refused.
The court of appeals disagreed and reversed the trial court's decision. The plain language of § 712(4) clearly provides an order for repayment of the expenses shall provide if the father marries the mother after the birth of the child and provides documentation of the fact, the unpaid expenses are abated. The plain language of § 712(5) clearly provides although sections 4 and 5 were not effective until October 1, 2004, orders entered before that date are also subject to abatement "if the father marries the mother."
The Court of Appeals held: "Simply put, MCL 722.712(5) places fathers who had an order providing for the payment of confinement and pregnancy expenses entered before October 1, 2004, on the same footing as fathers who had an order entered after October 1, 2004."
You may read Booker v Shannon here.