Is Child Support Independent Of Visitation?

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I heard child support is independent of visitation. Is that the case?

Michigan family law attorney Jennifer Bukovinszky


It is true that child support is independent of a parent’s right to parenting time with the minor children.

However, it is important to note that the determination of the amount of child support a parent may be obligated to pay is often times dependent on the amount of overnights that the noncustodial parent has with the minor children.

Child support is directly related to a parent’s obligation to support their children while the custody and parenting time schedule is dependent on what is in the best interests of the children.

If the parents are unable to agree on custody and parenting time, then the court will apply a set of factors (know as the best interest factors) to determine what custody arrangement and parenting time schedule would be most appropriate taking into consideration various circumstances surrounding the child’s life.

Once the court determines the appropriate custody arrangement and parenting time schedule, the court will then make a determination, using a formula comparing income of the parties and number of overnights to determine the amount of child support that would be paid for support of the child.

If the court determines that it would not be in the best interests of the child for one parent to have custody or parenting time, there will be an order entered with regard to that finding. If there is an order providing a specific parenting time schedule, the parties should either follow that schedule or agree to a different schedule.

However, if the parties reach a disagreement regarding parenting time, then they would default back to the specific scheduled set forth by the court.

If parenting time is refused by one parent, the other parent would address the situation with the court and request make-up parenting time. All along, the obligation to pay child support would remain in effect until there is a request for modification by one of the parties to the case.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general divorce tips for men, so please consult with a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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