Monday, April 5, 2010

Michigan Flint Divorce attorney comments on Child Support

Flint Divorce Lawyer Terry Bankert comments on Family Law and child support orders.

If you have been left by the other parent  who has an obligation to support the child?

•Both natural (or adoptive) mother and father , unless the court modifies or terminates the obligation or the child is emancipated have an obligation to support their children.

•A father of an  a child born while the parents are not married has an obligation to pay child support.The mother cannot contract away the child’s right to support by making the father stay away from the child.

• If you live in a home with a child you are not the biological parent of Generally there is no obligation to support an unrelated child, unless (1) equitable estoppel applies (usually when there is an express or implied representation that a parental relationship exists) or (2) the person is an “equitable parent.” These doctrines do not cover situations where there is no marriage.

What is the Equitable parent doctrine.

•Criteria—(1) the husband and the child acknowledge a father-child relationship or the mother cooperates in developing this relationship over a period of time before a divorce complaint is filed, (2) the husband desires parental rights, and (3) the husband is willing to pay child support.

•Once the criteria are met over a reasonable period of time, equitable parenthood is established and the criteria need not be met perpetually.

•The doctrine does not apply when the parties were never married.

Jurisdiction to order support. 

The court may order child support in (among other things) actions for divorce, annulment, separate maintenance, paternity, child custody, family support (applies when the married parent is living apart from the noncustodial parent who does not contribute financially although able to do so; also applies when the custodial parent is unmarried if the children are legitimate, legitimated, or adopted).

The court must have in personam jurisdiction over the defendant to order child support.

How much should your child support be ?

Child Support means payment of money for support of a child, including payment of medical, dental, and other health care expenses; child care expenses; and educational expenses. For enforcement purposes, also includes confinement/pregnancy expenses or genetic testing expenses ordered under the Paternity Act and the surcharge on past-due support payments.

If you have additional question contact Michigan Lawyer Terry Bankert at

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