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Are children required to follow the parenting plan?

If you are a divorced parent in Michigan, you and your ex-spouse may have difficulty getting along after the separation. The court order that a judge issued at the end of your case includes the resolution of custody issues such as the finalization of the parenting plan and visitation rights. You and your spouse both have a legal obligation to follow this order and stick to the plan, particularly when you are not able to come to an agreement otherwise.

According to Michigan law, you are obligated to enforce the terms of the parenting plan, even if your child does not want to see the other parent, because the judge determined the details of the plan to give you and your ex-spouse the opportunity to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with the child.

Yahoo News has reported on a recent court case where a Michigan judge ordered three children to a juvenile detention facility when they refused to follow a court order and go to lunch with their father during his scheduled visitation. The father of the children claimed that the children’s reluctance was because their mother had encouraged them to reject him and refuse to work toward a healthy relationship.

This may be the first time that children have been held in contempt of court for violation of a court order. Unless there is evidence that there is an unsafe situation, it is best to follow the visitation guidelines and encourage your child to have a healthy relationship with the other parent and enforce the visitation guidelines. This information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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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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