The Family Court handles
cases involving custody and parenting time of children.
These matters can be part of a divorce proceeding, or in the
case of parents who are not married, they can be handled as
separate cases only involving the children.
The Family Court tries to give these cases
priority because often the best interests of children is at
issue. At times the Court will use the services of its
Friend of the Court and other
professionals to assist in resolving these issues. Most
parties are required to attend an instructional program called
SMILE to increase awareness of the effects of divorce and
separation on children.
In most cases, the Court will approve a
joint custody arrangement with both parents to allow them both
to participate in the major decisions involving minor children.
Some families are able to share the parenting time with the
children. In other cases, one or the other parent may
provide more of the actual daily parenting for the child with
the other parent having parenting time on a more limited bases.
It is always the goal of the Court to have both parents
involved with the children.
Child support is usually based on the
Michigan Child Support Formula which factors in the incomes of
the parents and a number of other factors and determines a
reasonable support figure. Child support is usually paid
through the Michigan Disbursing Unit and enforced by the
Friend of the Court. Ensuring
compliance with child support obligations is also a priority of
the Family Court.
Additional information regarding
custody, parenting time and child support can be obtained by
Friend of the Court website.
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