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Child Custody and Support Archives

Parental abductions: how do they happen?

An alarming number of children and adolescents are abducted each year in the United States, and a large percentage of those abducted never return home again. Contrary to what many might assume, some of these kidnappers are the parents of the children themselves. Even if the suspect is the natural or adoptive parent, Michigan laws state that taking and retaining a child with the intent to conceal the child from any other parent or legal guardian is a crime that could lead to both crippling court fines and imprisonment.

Paternity and your child

If you believe that you are the father of a child in Michigan, but you have never been married to the mother, you may be wondering whether it is a good idea to establish and assert your rights as a parent. Along with these rights come responsibilities that may seem like they will be a challenge, particularly if your relationship with the mother has been difficult or non-existent. We at The Law Office of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., have counseled many fathers in your situation about the benefits of parenthood.

The future of child custody laws

When a dissolved marriage leads to divorce, many might assume that dealing with child support and custody would be the simplest part of the process that follows. Instead, child support laws in Michigan and the rest of the United States can become incredibly difficult, and even painful. Fortunately, Michigan legislators are pushing for solutions on the tricky aspects of child custody and divorce. 

What does your child get when you establish paternity?

If you were never married to your child’s mother and you are not on his or her birth certificate, you may not have any rights as the father. According to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, even though you share a biological bond, the law does not consider you to be the father until you have established paternity. You will have to do this through genetic testing, or with an affidavit that is signed by both you and the mother, as well as by a witness. By creating this legal relationship with your child, you are providing a number of important benefits.

Factors that affect how much child support you will pay

Along with property division and child custody, child support is among the top concerns for parents when it comes to the final divorce order in Michigan. Fortunately, the payment is not chosen at random. According to MichiganLegalHelp.org, there is a specific formula the court uses to arrive at the appropriate amount of support.

When child-rearing differences threaten co-parenting success

Maybe the clash between parenting styles was part of what led to a Michigan divorce, or the differences may simply add to the current difficulties getting along. Whatever the case, co-parenting will not get any easier while mom and dad allow the conflicts to continue. People often have a deep emotional tie to the way that they parent their children, though, and that may make compromise seem impossible.

What does the Friend of the Court do?

The goal of the Michigan family court judge is to discover the best interests of your child when determining custody. MichiganLegalHelp.org explains that if you and your spouse are not able to agree on a parenting plan or other issues based on court guidelines, a Friend of the Court may get involved and make a recommendation to the judge.

Before signing your child up for sports

Even though former spouses are co-parenting amicably in Michigan, they may not have the same priorities for their parenting time. One may prefer a more structured schedule, while the other enjoys relaxing at home or going on spontaneous outings. While addressing extracurricular activities during the development of a parenting plan is ideal, if they are not mentioned, working out the details could become problematic when the parents do not share similar goals.

Receiving child support from a parent who does not work

When you are facing a divorce and your child’s other parent is not employed, you may be worried that the court will not be able to award you child support, and that you will have the full financial burden of raising your child. Because the judge typically considers the ability to pay, and the resources each parent has, it may seem like a foregone conclusion that no paycheck will equal no support. We at The Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., understand that there are many sources that child support may be drawn from, and we provide counsel on appropriate agreements.

Paying child support on time is important to your custody case

The state of Michigan takes child support during a divorce seriously. If your former spouse filed for divorce and custody, chances are that he or she has temporary custody of your children, while you are being expected to pay child support and see your children during scheduled visitation times only.

Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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