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Located in Battle Creek, MI   269-964-5080
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Child Support / Parenting Time

Sensitive Care for Child Support and Parenting

A child has an inherent right to the support of his or her natural parents and both parents are obligated to support a minor child unless court modifies or terminates the obligation or the child is emancipated. 

Unless there is an adoption or other termination of parental rights, the support obligation remains with the child’s legal parents and is set pursuant to the Michigan Child Support Formula. Under the Michigan Child Support Formula, a child support obligation includes payment for the general care and needs of a child, medical support, and child care expenses.

The first step in calculating a parent’s support obligation is to determine both parents’ individual incomes and any allowable deductions from income. Next, the court considers if either parent has additional children from other relationships, adjusts the base obligation with a parental time offset, determines health care coverage obligations and premiums, and verifies child care obligations. 

Once these factors have been evaluated, child support is set pursuant to the Michigan Child Support Formula unless application of the Formula would lead to an unjust or inappropriate result. 

Due to the extensive nature of child support disputes and the law involved, this subject is best left to an in-depth discussion with your attorney.

Contact the Law Office of Cindy L. Thomas for help from our empathetic attorney with your child support case and get sensitive legal guidance to help you through this difficult time. You'll get a reduced rate, no obligation consultation for your family law case.

Parenting Time for Your Child's Best Interest

Parenting time is awarded in accordance with the best interests of the child. It is presumed to be in the best interests of a child for the child to have a strong relationship with both parents. 

Unless otherwise deemed inappropriate, parenting time will be granted to a parent in a frequency, duration, and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the child and the parent granted parenting time. 

A child has a right to parenting time with a parent unless it would endanger the child’s physical, mental or emotional health. Generally, parenting time is awarded to each parent as appropriate based upon the history of the parents’ involvement with the children, each parent’s work schedule, and the children’s specific needs.

In a joint physical custody case, a specific parenting plan is typically laid out as to which parent will have the child on which days and at what times, whereas in a sole physical custody environment a parenting plan is generally granted to the noncustodial parent.

Absent an acceptable agreement by the parents, Michigan courts may consider the parenting factors under the Michigan Child Custody Act to determine the frequency, duration, and type of parenting in a specific parenting plan:

  • The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child
  • Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6 months of age, or less than 1 year of age if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing
  • The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child during parenting time
  • The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise of parenting time
  • The inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on, the child of traveling for purposes of parenting time
  • Whether a parent can reasonably be expected to exercise parenting time in accordance with the court order
  • Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise reasonable parenting time
  • The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent or from a third person who has legal custody. A custodial parent's temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence of the custodial parent's intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent
  • Any other relevant factors.

MCL 722.27a

Due to the specifics of parenting time disputes and the law involved, this subject should be discussed in-depth with your attorney.

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