Parenting time was the topic of discussion recently, and Attorney Shon Cook is going to take it to another level this week with her segment Saturdays With Shon here on the Muskegon Channel.
Parenting time is often set by agreement between the parties. It can be agreed upon by them, through mediation or if no real resolution is found, it can be left up to a judge. As Shon works to explain week in and week out, the best resolution is what she strives for with her clients and leaving the decision up to a judge removes all control from those who are trying to do what's best. Even in the stickiest of situations, it can get even more complicated if some things are not taken care of in advance when there's kids and custody involved.
In Michigan, did you know that the father has no parental rights if the baby is born out of wedlock if there is no document or affidavit asserting that he's the father? Even in cases where the parents are living together but unmarried, this holds true unless there's a written order. In the case of a divorce, if a parent takes a child out of the set guidelines or takes a child out of state there are penalties involved and a huge amount of money to be spent and processes to resolve. It's a giant web of issues.
Making sure that parental rights are covered in writing is essential to cover both ends of the spectrum. Even if unmarried and things are going along swimmingly, the safest bet is to have documented proof of who's the parent, what the living situations are and if any visitation is going to be part of the arrangement, it's there in black and white. Life can change quickly, married or unmarried and avoiding the absolute nightmare scenarios you'll hear about this week is the goal of this segment.
Shon's intimate knowledge of Family Law here in Michigan and even out into other states makes her uniquely qualified to share the stories and experiences. Take a listen.