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Kalamazoo Family Law Blog

What happens to child support when one parent moves away?

The requirement to pay child support follows a parent wherever they go. If one parent moves away—even to another state—Michigan and interstate laws demand that the parent continue to make the mandated payments. We’ve outlined below the regulations surrounding this process.

Notification of the move

What happens when divorced parents disagree over vaccination?

Under Michigan law, children must be vaccinated in order to enroll in school and other group activities. However, parents have the option not to vaccinate their child if they have religious, medical or personal objections to such immunizations. But what happens when parents disagree over whether to vaccinate?

In a recent case, a Michigan mother was jailed for five days after failing to comply with a court order to have her son vaccinated. The mother—a fervent “anti-vaxxer”—believes vaccinations pose health risks to children that outweigh their benefits. The father in the case disagrees.

Can I get the terms of my divorce settlement changed?

Your divorce settlement became final last month, but things are not as you’d hoped. It seems like almost all of your paycheck now goes straight to your ex-spouse, and you’re struggling to make ends meet. To add salt to the wound, you only get to see your kids every other weekend. Do you have any recourse?

You might. You could file a motion for post-divorce modification—a change in your divorce settlement that can make the terms more favorable for you. A post-divorce modification is a court order, which is legally binding and overrides the previous terms of the divorce. It can be used to receive changes in terms such as alimony, spousal support, child support and child custody.

Divorcing later in life: key differences

Couples who divorce typically can’t see it coming when they first get married. And some couples don’t expect to separate after 30 years of marriage or more. Yet, people change over time. Some changes are just more gradual than others.

At this point in your life, the kids have grown, retirement is nigh and your situation could be vastly different from it was just ten years ago. You may want new experiences or have concerns that don’t match up with your marriage. You may even decide that it’s time for divorce.

Questions about parent protections for medical marijuana users

Michigan, like many states, allows the use of marijuana for some medical treatments. Who has access and how the drug is dispensed is highly regulated. Indeed, the rules can vary from city to city.

You may ask what this has to do with family law. The answer is quite simple. Marijuana use carries with it a stigma in some circles that built up over many decades. That's not easy to shake, as medical and recreational marijuana proponents can confirm. If you are a parent who shares child custody and you are a medical marijuana user, you may well have found yourself having to defend your custodial and visitation rights – even though the state's law seems to offer clear protections.

Exploring a legal separation

Legal separation is more than just a stepping stone to a divorce. Some couples might treat it as merely a part of the divorce process, but separation is an important legal process in itself. A legal separation is a court order that stipulates the rights and obligations of a couple that has decided to live separately. Spouses may choose to live apart from each other at any time during the marriage, but it is the formal declaration by the court that makes a separation legally official.

Paternity cases can be complicated by many definitions of father

We have written before about how challenging paternity cases can be in Michigan. Observers offer many explanations for why that is the case. Some suggest that the state's child custody and visitation laws are somewhat outdated.

In apparent response to that, lawmakers in Lansing are considering at least one measure this session. The bill, which would establish joint custody as the model presumed to be in the best interests of children, is still working its way through the process so it's impossible to know how things will play out.

Cutting family ties while still a minor

There comes a time for many children when they think life would be better if they cut ties with their parents. This writer knows of one young boy who was so angry at his mom over something that he announced he'd run away. His mom, calling his bluff, said, "OK, I'll help you pack and make you a sandwich." The boy walked around the block before returning home.

That's how such confrontations between loving parents and their children usually resolve. However, there may be times when conditions at home are such that it makes sense for a minor to think about getting out from under. Whether the conditions are right for pursuing this emancipation is something that deserves careful assessment before any decisions are made.

Looking at another case of parental alienation in Michigan

We’ve previously written on this blog about the issue of parental alienation and the damage it can do to children’s relationship with the alienated parent. It’s a difficult issue to deal with, regardless of the other circumstances involved.

A recent article looked at a Michigan divorce case involving the issue of parental alienation. The couple had an on-again, off-again relationship prior to ending their marriage in 2009, with the mother taking the couple’s children and the father being granted visitation rights. Two months after the divorce was finalized, though, the mother sought to end her ex-husband’s parental rights, claiming he failed to exercise them.

House bill proposes joint custody proposal in Michigan

Child custody is among the most important issues parents of minor children have to address in the divorce process. When parents are cooperative and can agree on child custody matters, the process is certainly easier. When they cannot, the process can be quite difficult, and a judge will have to step in and make a decision in the best interests of the child.

As readers may know, states differ in how they treat the issue of joint custody. Although joint custody is known to be good for children after divorce, whether it is in the best interests of the child depends on the circumstances. Here in Michigan, unlike some states, there is no presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of the child, though family law judges are required to order joint custody if parents agree to it, unless it isn’t in the best interests of the child. The law could, however, soon be changing. 

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Kalamazoo Family Law Blog | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC