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…

Does Fault Matter?

A recent Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminar titled, “Fault: Does it Ever Really Matter?” by Jade J. Edwards reviews the aspects of a divorce that can be influenced by determining fault. In the ICLE materials, Edwards wrote, “Michigan is a “no fault” divorce state. This simply means that a party can get a divorce regardless of fault. However, this does not mean that fault doesn’t matter at all.” Does Fault Matter in Child Custody? The primary premise of child custody and visitation is to provide for the best interests of the child after divorce. It is further assumed, unless Continue Reading…

Child Support Income Calculations

When it comes to trying to cheat the child support system, the Michigan courts have seen it all. They have seen drastic maneuvers by desperate parents eager to manipulate their income to avoid paying more support than they feel is fair. Unscrupulous ex-spouses may use tricky tactics to artificially reduce the income that is the basis for calculating child support. The thought process is that “I’m not giving my ex any more of my hard-earned money than is absolutely necessary.” The failure in that thinking is that the kids are the ones that lose. So the Michigan Child Support Formula Continue Reading…

Embrace the Disneyland Dad (or Mom)

Disclaimer: Let us just say up front that we at Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates know that the original term Disneyland Dad is sexist and cliché. We know moms are just as prone to spoiling their kids as dads. So for the purposes of the blog to follow let’s just be clear that we are not making a comment about the parenting priorities of an entire gender. The label simply rolls off the tongue better than “Unnamed Theme Park Parent of Unspecified Gender.” We have seen enough co-parent clients come through our office to know that all mothers and fathers, come Continue Reading…

Summertime Custody Considerations Should Include Best Interests Factors

Memorial Weekend and high-school graduations mark the start of summertime in Michigan. For many working parents, not much changes with the new season other than the weather. But for many lucky kids, summertime in Michigan might mean camps and S’mores, hiking trips Up North, sleepovers and softball games. For divorced families, all these activities can bring scheduling conflicts, parenting time questions and summertime custody considerations. “We handle a lot of parenting time conflicts at the start of summer because kids’ activities tend to be more spontaneous this time of the year,” says experienced South Lyon Child Custody Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler. “When Continue Reading…

Tips for Successful Parenting Coordination Process

The Parenting Coordination Process is a mediation arrangement where co-parents work with a coordinator to resolve child-custody related matters. QUESTION: Which parenting scenarios might be prime for Parenting Coordination Process? A: A parent is consistently late for child visitation exchanges. The parents repeatedly fight and return to court over drop-off and pickup arrangements. B: Ex-spouses disagree about a child’s mental health treatment plan. There is regular conflict regarding medications, supplements, vitamins, diet and exercise. C: A parent has a new job and wants a permanent, one-time alteration to the visitation schedule. D: Both parents generally work well together but dispute Continue Reading…

Children of Parental Alienation Suffer as Adults

As incidences of Parental Alienation Syndrome increase, therapy professionals are looking at the long-term impacts on the children of high-conflict divorces. Children of Parental Alienation Suffer Later in Life According to Edward Kruk, Ph.D., “Psychiatrist Richard Gardner developed the concept of “parental alienation syndrome” 20 years ago.” Now, decades later, the children identified as being the subjects of Parental Alienation are becoming young adults and encountering difficulties in the own marriages and parenting relationships. It manifests itself in narcissistic behaviors, addictions, and difficulty co-parenting. The term Parental Alienation is used to describe a perpetual pattern of one parent brainwashing the Continue Reading…

Drug abuse: 5 things I wish my family law clients knew

Dear Drug or Alcohol Abuser, I’ve been a family law attorney for more than 20 years now and I have seen families ripped apart by alcohol and drug abuse. I’ve also witnessed the positive, reaffirming and heartwarming tales of parents reunited with children after a scary bout with addiction. The path of alcohol and drug use->abuse->addiction-> ruin is not a certain one. Clients have recovered. So whether drug abuse or alcohol abuse is the primary source of legal trouble or compounding it, there are five items I wish my family law clients knew about drug abuse and testing that can prevent a bad Continue Reading…

Child Support After Parent Death

When negotiating divorce and child custody agreements, it’s important to prepare for all possible scenarios. In terms of child support and custody, unfortunately, one of those scenarios is the death of one of the parents. It’s tragic to imagine this scenario from a child’s emotional perspective. As uncomfortable as it is to speculate, the potential death of either the custodial or non-custodial parent should be considered. Death of Non-Custodial Parent In the case of the death of a parent paying child support, the custodial parent may wonder where funds will come from. “It’s unfortunate when a parent who was charged Continue Reading…

Hague Convention Rules Help Bring Kids Home

Hague Convention Rules Crucial in International Parental Kidnapping Cases When International Parental Kidnapping Occurs, Hague Convention Rules Custody disputes are traumatic enough but image how horrible it is to have your spouse or the other parent of your child leave with your child to another country. This is not as rare as you might think. Kathryn M. Wayne-Spindler has handled just those types of cases. What matters most is if the parent went to a country that is a member of the Hague Convention. If so there are avenues to bring your child home. If it happens to you there Continue Reading…