After Divorce: College Funding Responsibility

Who’s responsible for college funding post divorce? Although child support payments typically end when children turn 18, divorcing couples often agree to college funding as part of their settlement.  There are many considerations to discuss with your family law attorney regarding paying for college after divorce. The first place to start is whether the supporting party will be paying for college and, if so, how much. “For some divorcing couples, the answer is uncomplicated.  Money has been earmarked for college, Johnny’s interests come first, everybody can agree on who will pay what,” writes Jeffrey A. Landers in his article “One Continue Reading…

Gender Expansive Youth May Face Potential Legal Issues

Gender Expansive Youth Legal Matters An interesting article in the Michigan Bar Journal, December 2017 edition titled “Legal Issues Facing Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth,” by Angie Martell brings to light many current and potential legal considerations for children and teens. The article reads, “Transgender and gender-expansive individuals face more and more hidden barriers and injustices. Is the strict adherence to a two- sex paradigm not only inconsistent with science but discriminatory?” Family Law Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler has been practicing in Michigan for more than 20 years and finds many of the article’s topics fascinating and pertinent. “So many legal issues Continue Reading…

Grandparent Rights: Three Standards

We field many calls in our busy family law practice about grandparent rights. Some want to know if they can collect child support payments if they are helping raise their grandkids. Some grandparents want to know the options if they disapprove of parents’ decisions. Others wonder how to protect their relationship with the grandchildren after the parents divorce. The possible scenarios are so varied it’s difficult to address them all in one blog but there are three standards that Michigan courts take into account when considering a grandparent rights case. For more detailed information about specific cases, contact the Law Continue Reading…

Children of Divorce: Breaking the Resistance and Refusal Dynamic

Continuing Legal Education Topic Parental Alienation is a hot Family Law topic. There is heightened awareness and increased repercussions for parents guilty of intentionally turning their kids against the other parent. With this increased attention to alienation, there is also recognition of the slippery slope pattern of rejection of a parent labeled RRD (Resistance, Refusal Dynamic). Experienced Livingston County Child Custody Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended a Family Law Continuing Legal Education seminar where Hon. T.J. Ackert of the 17th Circuit Court Grand Rapids; Ben Burgess of  Parmelee and Associates in Grand Haven; and Connie R. Thacker of Thacker Sleight Continue Reading…

Proposed Changes to Michigan Child Custody

A look at Michigan House Bill 4691 The Michigan House Bill 4691, proposing changes to the Child Custody Act of 1970, was introduced on May 31, 2017 and has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary. (Citations below show proposed changes indicated by strikethroughs and the suggested language amendments in bold, all-caps.) The latest proposed changes to the Michigan child custody laws include the very title of the act. According to Michigan House Bill 4691 introduced by Reps. Runestad, Kelly, VanSingel, Lucido, Hauck, Cole and Tedder reads, “Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Continue Reading…

New for Co-Parents: Online Parenting Classes Now Available

Online Co-Parenting Classes May Satisfy Court Requirements There are online college degrees and virtual SAT tutoring so why not on online parenting classes? The digital age has given divorcing parents a solution to the difficulty of fitting court-ordered co-parenting classes into an already over-scheduled co-parenting life. Even if you are not required to do a co-parenting class by court order, it is a great idea to learn new techniques to parent together in difficult situations. Online parenting class providers include: Course for Parents Online Parent Class Online Parenting Programs Each online parenting class provider has a different programs and costs. Continue Reading…

Michigan Child Support Formula Updates for 2017

Every year there are (MCSF) Michigan Child Support Formula updates that determines how child support is calculated. Highland family law attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended the Institute of Continuing Legal Education Family Law Conference and came away with the article, “The 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Child Support, Period!” In general, the courts calculate child support based on the income of both parents and the number of overnights each parent has with the children. Here some highlights of the 2017 changes to income calculation for the purposes of child support: Michigan Child Support Formula Updates Retirement Payments The income Continue Reading…

Special Considerations of International Divorce

Increasingly, apps like Tinder, Facebook, Match.com, E-Harmony, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, and WeChat are making finding and maintaining a long-distance relationships possible. According to statistics cited in an e-Harmony article, as many as 40 percent of Americans use online dating. Besides online dating sites, international couples sometimes meet when one person is on a business assignment, study abroad or military tour in the other’s country. As a society, our geographic boundaries for romantic attachments are stretching. But what happens when an international relationship turns into international divorce? International Marriage Benefits There are many positive aspects to a multi-cultural, international marriage as Corey Continue Reading…

Domestic Violence Screening Essential Before Mediation

Mediation is only safe and successful when both parties are capable of freely expressing their requirements. If one party is being abused, the mediation may be at best, unfair and at worst, unsafe. That’s why it’s crucial that attorneys and mediators follow the requirements for domestic violence screening  before proceeding with mediation. Experienced Highland Family Law Mediator Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended an ICLE (Institute of Continuing Legal Education) Family Law Seminar regarding Michigan domestic violence screening procedures. The session, “Screening for Domestic Violence in Mediation” was presented by Lore A. Rogers of the Michigan Domestic & Sexual Violence Prevention & Continue Reading…

Michigan Medical Marihuana Use Shouldn’t Impact Custody

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act allows for citizens who have been diagnosed with specific illnesses or conditions to possess and use marihuana for treatment. The law also allows that, “A qualifying patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau…” This includes custody arrangements as outlined in the following: “(c) A person shall not be denied custody or visitation Continue Reading…