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Child Custody / Parenting Time

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Seven Tips for Helping Parents Through a Custody Battle


Custody battles are some of the most heated battles in family court. Parents who cannot agree to a custody and visitation schedule can put each other and their children through a traumatic, lengthy court battle. A
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Monday, May 13, 2019

After a Divorce, Who Pays for Child Care?


In Michigan, child care is included in child support until the first August after a child's twelfth birthday.  After that, the parties can agree to share the costs of child care or each parent will be responsible for paying for child care that is required during that parent's court ordered parenting time with the child.  

How Much Does Each Party Pay Toward Child Support?

There are four basic components of child support.  There is the base child support, which is determined primarily by the incomes of each parent and the number of overnights the children have with each parent.  There are also three supplements; the healthcare supplement, the ordinary medical care supplement and the child care supplement.


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Can Our Teenager Refuse to Spend Time with the Other Parent?


A teenager can have some input on how much time he spends with each parent when the parents are going through a divorce in Michigan. The wishes of the teenager are one of the many factors the judge will consider when deciding custody and parenting time and determining what is in the best interests of the child. Speaking with a Michigan child custody attorney can help guide you if your teen wants to spend more time with the other parent.

Once the judge enters an order of custody and visitation, the child should follow the schedule of visitation. If a teenager wants to stop seeing one parent, the court will need to decide whether a modification of the decree is appropriate.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

5 Factors a Judge Will Consider in Relocation


It is common for parents to relocate for a variety of reasons when their children are minors. They may move because they have a better job opportunity, to be closer to family, or because they enter a new relationship. When parents have a time-sharing agreement, relocating the child’s residence can make it difficult to continue under the current time-sharing agreement. A parent may lose quality time with his or her child.

Therefore, laws are in place to ensure the child has every possible chance to foster a close relationship with both parents, if that is in the child’s best interest.
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Saturday, March 30, 2019

What is a Right of First Refusal and Can it be Modified?


Some divorce or separation cases where there are children involved will include a right-of-first-refusal (RFR) provision.  Basically an RFR will provide that if one parent is not able to be available to be present (absent parent) for over a specific period of time while the child is supposed to be with the absent parent, then the absent parent must notify the other parent and offer the other parent the right to exercise time with the child before asking a relative or other person to watch the child until the absent parent is able to be present.  It is typically intended to handle the situations such as where one parent will be out of town for one night of his or her weekend parenting time.   An example of a standard RFR is as follows: each parent shall have the right of first refusal if they are going to be away from the minor child overnight OR for a twelve (12) hour work shift. If they will be away because of either of these, that parent must notify the other parent to offer them the first right of refusal for overnight parenting time.


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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Refusal to Allow Parenting Time May Cause a Change of Custody


In many cases where the parents of a child are divorced or separated, the child is with one parent more than the other.  This may be referred to as one parent having primary physical custody or it may be referred to as joint physical custody but the parenting time schedule actually grants one parent significantly more time than the other parent.  For the purposes of this bog, I will call the parent that has more time or control the custodial parent.  Unfortunately, in sometimes the custodial parent will either not allow the other parent the court ordered parenting time or will take steps to interfere with the other parent's time with the child.  This is a very serious problem and it can result in the court ordering a change in the parenting time schedule, physical custody and/or legal custody.


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Monday, March 11, 2019

Mom Arrested After Allegedly Abandoning Children in Freezing Car


Can one incident of poor judgment cost me custody of my children?

If you’re considered getting divorced in North Oakland, Michigan and you have minor children, deciding on who will have legal and physical custody of the children can be the most contentious or difficult part of the divorce process--especially if the parties can’t agree. In that case, the court will make the decision deciding what is in the best interest of the children and that’s not optimal since no one knows your children better than the two of you.

Both


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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Overcoming Conflict Over Custody During the Holidays


Holidays can be difficult for parents and children when parents are no longer married or together. Children may feel torn between his or her parents. Parents may feel bitter and abandoned. The ideal solution is for parents to work out an arrangement that allows everyone to spend the holidays together. However, anger and hurt feelings can prevent parents from putting aside their differences to negotiate a mutually acceptable holiday custody arrangement.
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Monday, February 11, 2019

How Could The Divorce Court Fail to Change Custody In This Case?


How Could The Divorce Court Fail to Change Custody In This Case?

The issue of custody is one of the most difficult that a court must handle in divorce cases.  The initial decision to grant custody to one parent, the other parent or to both parents is based upon the child's "best interests".  The "best interests" of the child is actually a set of factors listed in Michigan statutes that have been enacted by the legislature.  Once the court has decided the issues of custody, it as well as parenting time and child support can be modified until the children become adults.  In order to modify the custody however, a person has to prove to the court's satisfaction that there has been a significant change in circumstances that seriously effects the child's life.


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Thursday, December 27, 2018

7 Strategies to Reduce Custody Stress This Holiday Season


“It is the most wonderful time of year . . .” However, it is also one of the most stressful times of the year. The holidays bring joy, laughter, and delight.
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Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Is Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) In A Divorce or Custody Case?


What Is Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) in A Divorce or Custody Case?

In Michigan, the entry of a judgment of divorce is final with regards to property division, division of debt and in some instances alimony.  Custody, parenting time or visitation and child support are always modifiable as well as alimony in many cases.  Unfortunately there are cases where after the entry of the divorce judgment, the parents continue to have conflict and acrimony to the extent that they often return to court to argue about these issues for years.

In such high conflict cases, the court may appoint a lawyer as the guardian ad litem or GAL in cases where the child's interests may be inadequately represented.  The GAL meets with the child and acts as the child's attorney.


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