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…

Future of Marriage: What Does it Look Like?

What will the Marriage of the Future look like? Renewable short-term marriage contracts? Mandatory Prenups? Long-term long-distance Marriage? Tri-Parent Families? People are pondering the Future of Marriage. Will it even still exist in 50 years? If so, will it resemble the marriage that is familiar to current generations? “The marriage apocalypse may be coming. Talk to any millennial and you can envision an America virtually marriage-free, with everyone happily single,” writes Carol Costello in her blog, “Ready for the Marriage Apocalypse?” “Right now, about 40% of Americans think marriage is obsolete as a concept. They are not sure it is Continue Reading…

Single Parenting: 4 Survival Tips

No question. Single parenting is daunting. No matter how few parental responsibilities the former spouse handled, after divorce, there are bound to be some holes. There may be some parenting concerns covered more sparsely than others – like a comb-over for child rearing duties. For many newly-solo parents, that first year after divorce is all about finding the holes and filling them. The Single Parenting list of responsibilities is LLOOOONG. Just when the cavities are filled and new sneakers purchased they need teacher gifts and SAT tutoring. Even with two parents losing sleep, the list can seem overwhelming. So it’s Continue Reading…

Grandparenting Time Allowed Under Michigan Law

In Michigan, grandparents have the right to seek Grandparenting Time with grandkids after the parents’ divorce, legal separation or annulment if two very specific conditions are met, according to Michigan Legislature. Guidelines for Grandparenting Time Eligibility Number One – The Grandparent is only eligible for visitation time if he or she cannot have access to the grandchildren during his or her child’s custody time. To clarify, we’ll establish a common scenario using generic names. So let’s say the Grandparents are Arthur and Beatrice. Their child, Thomas, has a daughter, Anne. Arthur and Beatrice can only seek Grandparenting Time with Anne if Thomas is 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…