Most Michigan fathers can relate to the idea of parenting being simultaneously a wonderful and exciting, yet sometimes stressful and challenging, experience. For those who are currently facing legal problems regarding child support issues, the latter might be especially prevalent at this time. A father concerned with such issues will want to seek clarification of state guidelines and regulations, particularly if the parent in question is heading to court for litigation.
An adult’s financial obligation toward a child is not a condition of marriage, per se, but by being a parent of a specific child or children. The court will often order a paternity test to determine biological parenthood. Such a test may be necessary in a divorce case, as well as cases where someone is suing another person for child support without ever having been married to that person.
Federal law requires each state to establish child support guidelines. A family court judge typically reviews the income and expenses of both parents. The court also considers the lifestyle to which a specific child is accustomed and additional issues, such as the non-custodial parent’s ability or inability to pay child support. If there is a remarriage of one or both parents, a loss of income, health emergency or other legitimate issue, a parent may file a petition seeking modification of an existing court order.
Every Michigan dad ordered to pay child support must understand that he cannot change the terms of the order without taking proper legal steps to request modification. Unless and until the court grants the request, both parents remain obligated to adhere to the existing court order. Disregard of an order may prompt a judge to issue a contempt of court ruling. Parents want what is best for their children, which is why it is a good idea for a parent struggling to resolve a child support issue to reach out for additional support, which is a proactive way to protect parental rights and children’s best interests.