family law

How To Begin The Child Support Process In Michigan

When parents separate, they often wonder how they will provide adequate emotional and financial support for their child. It’s important that both parents are actively involved in this process.

What Is Child Support?

Child support is a court-ordered payment to help with the costs of raising a child. Child support can include payments for a variety of expenses such as medical, dental, childcare and education. Child support continues in Michigan until the child reaches 18 years of age or 19 ½ if the child lives full time with one parent and is still attending high school.

There have been a number of changes to Michigan’s Child Support Formula Manual (MCSFM) this year. These are the first changes made to the formula since 2013 and include a variety of updated economic factors and procedural changes.

The amount of child support received depends on a number of factors including income, custody arrangements, the number of children requiring support, estimated and actual medical costs, childcare and education costs.

Beginning The Child Support Process

Either parent can begin the child support process. An application for child support can be filled out online or printed and mailed to the Michigan Office of Child Support.

After applying for support, it’s extremely important to remain actively involved in your case. Your cooperation with the child support program ensures the best possible outcome.

As you navigate through the child support program, you might find that not everything is under your control. It’s important to remember that the legal rights of all parties must be protected. It’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about Michigan’s child support program before beginning the process. This puts you in the best possible position to provide your child with the support they need.

Michigan Family Law

We understand how confusing the child support program can be. An experienced attorney can help you through the process. Nessel & Kessel Law has many years of experience with Michigan family law. We fight hard for our clients to ensure they get the results they deserve.

Please contact us for more information about Michigan’s child support process.

Hiring a Lawyer in Michigan Requires Planning & Research

A lawyer isn’t someone whose name you pick from a simple Google search result and ask, “Where do I sign?” No. Just as you would plan and research any major investment, so too should you carefully vet any Michigan lawyer for hire to serve your case. When faced with family litigation or criminal charges, consider the following steps to hiring an attorney.

Conduct a thorough interview to determine if the attorney’s skillsets match your needs.

Most reputable attorneys in Michigan host an initial consultation appointment free of charge; use this opportunity to get to know the lawyer you are considering to hire, and to assess his/her ability to serve your case. Ask of his experience in the particular legal matter; how long he has been in practice; her track record of success; the weight of her overall caseload; any special skills and certifications; fees and billing; and for references too.

When hiring a lawyer in Michigan, it is important to know how he will keep you apprised of the goings on in your case, but also just as important is how she makes you feel: Was she prompt and courteous in response to your questions? Is she someone with whom you’ll feel comfortable sharing private details of your life?

Trust your instincts, but also:

Run a background check.

Before hiring any lawyer for any reason at all, you might be wise to contact the Attorney Discipline Board to confirm he is in good standing as a member of the bar.

Ask other attorneys.

No one understands the legal system and how to navigate it like lawyers, and so the best resource available to you is another lawyer. Just as, perhaps more important to consider when hiring a lawyer in Michigan than education and fees is ethics, competence, reputation. Other attorneys will be best able to share this information with you.

Tour the law office.

They say first impressions are everything. So drop by for a visit.

We strive to make the law offices of Nessel & Kessel an accessible, welcoming place for potential and current clients. Here you’ll be met with friendly, smiling faces working efficiently for you.

When you need a lawyer in Michigan, call Nessel & Kessel.

Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s top criminal defense firms and general litigation experts. We have a record for fighting for our clients and gaining excellent outcomes. Let us help you get the results you deserve.

Dana Nessel Named Woman of the Year!

Michigan Civil Rights LawyerAs reported in Michigan Lawyers Weekly, we’re so proud to share the news…

“Nessel received the award at MiLW’s annual Women in the Law event Sept. 10 at the Detroit Marriott Troy. She was selected by a vote of the 30 members of the Women in the Law Class of 2015, all of whom are featured in this special section.

Nessel, a criminal defense and family lawyer at Nessel & Kessel Law, represented the plaintiffs in DeBoer v. Snyder, which challenged the Michigan Marriage Amendment and the Michigan Adoption Code. DeBoer was consolidated with three similar cases, and in June, a 5-4 Supreme Court ruled that all states’ same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional.”

Read the full article here.

Laws Regarding Homeschooling in Michigan Under Fierce Scrutiny

As an eager nation awaits word from the Supreme Court of the United States in the same-sex marriage case of Obergfell v. Hodges — which could come as early as tomorrow, or as late as June 30 — Michigan is tuned into a different sort of injustice hanging heavy like a cloud over the Great Lakes State.

In March of this year, the bodies of two young children, Stoni Blair and Stephen Berry, were found in a freezer, only when their mother, Michelle Blair, was evicted from her Detroit apartment. Evidence indicates that the children had been dead for several years. Blair, 35, had removed Blair and Berry from school under the pretense that they would be homeschooled.

Michiganders, parents, educators, and lawmakers are appalled, and asking:

How could this have happened, and what can we do to ensure it never happens again?

The answer might be:

Overhaul Michigan’s homeschooling laws.

There are strong feelings on both sides of the issue.

The following text was originally published by The Battle Creek Enquirer.

Michigan is one of only 11 states that does not require homeschooling parents to register with the state or have any contact with officials. But legislation introduced recently could impact the way homeschooling operates in Michigan.

Detroit residents Abbey and Kevin Waterman have home­schooled all eight of their children over the last 24 years and said they believe more oversight would create an unnecessary burden on families.

“The way it is right now has made home educating in Michigan a lot less complicated,” Abbey Waterman said. “We already do all of our own administration, we have our own books, our own home library and we’re responsible for it all. Having yet another administrative responsibility to the state is burdensome and awkward for us. I really appreciate the fact I don’t have to register and validate. … Homeschooling in Michigan is wonderful. Don’t weigh us down with another burden.”

But Lansing resident Cheryl Overly, who has home­schooled her seven children for 12 years, said that while most who choose to homeschool are wonderful parents, more oversight is needed. Overly submits a report to the state annually because two of her sons receive speech therapy services. Overly said the process is simple and non-intrusive.

“A lot of people are intimidated by registering with the state, but it’s not an undue burden, by any means,” she said.

The legislation would require parents or a guardian who chooses to homeschool to:

  • Provide their address and names of the children who will be homeschooled to their school district.
  • Require that homeschooled children meet twice a year with someone from an approved list of individuals, such as a physician, licensed social worker, school counselor or teacher.
  • Require parents to keep records of those meetings and make them available upon request.

Where do you stand on the laws regarding homeschooling in Michigan?