Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Novi child support lawyer2020 has been a hard year for everybody. Even if you or your loved ones have not become sick, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely affected your life in multiple ways. Because of business closures, reductions in working hours, or health concerns, many people have lost their jobs or have had to deal with issues that resulted in the loss of income. If you are struggling financially, you may find yourself unable to meet your child support obligations. If this is the case, you will want to determine how you can avoid legal issues that may affect your relationship with your children and your ongoing financial security.

Consequences for Non-Payment of Child Support

Once a child support order is issued as part of a divorce or family law case, you will be required to make all payments on time and in full. If you do not pay child support as ordered, a variety of enforcement actions could be taken against you. The amount owed may be collected by garnishing your wages or withholding other forms of income, including unemployment payments, workers’ compensation, or Social Security disability. Your future tax refunds could be intercepted, or liens could be placed on your property. Your non-payment will also be reported to credit agencies, causing your credit score to go down.

Failure to pay child support could also result in being held in civil contempt of court. This could lead to penalties such as the suspension of your driver’s license or a professional license, the denial of a U.S. passport, or even time in prison. Your case may also be referred to a criminal prosecutor, and you may be charged with the felony offense of non-support. If you are convicted of these charges, you could face imprisonment for up to four years and fines of up to $2,000.

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Oakland County family law attorney adoption

There are many reasons why a person or a couple may choose to adopt a child. Parents may be unable to have children biologically, or they may simply want to pursue other options for expanding their family. Adoption can also be a way to provide a loving home and supportive environment for a child who needs it. In the state of Michigan, there are thousands of children in the foster care system who are waiting to be adopted. Parents who are looking to adopt a child may want to ensure they meet all of the necessary requirements, and they can work with a family law attorney to address any legal issues that may arise.

Foster Child Adoption Requirements

In many cases, children who are in the foster care system are temporarily placed in the homes of foster parents, with the goal of reuniting them with their birth parent(s). However, there are some situations where parental rights are terminated, and these foster children will be looking for adoptive parents who will assume permanent legal guardianship and responsibility for them.

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5 Tips for Adjusting to a Blended Family After a Michigan AdoptionAdopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. In many cases, adoption gives a loving, safe home to a child in need. Some couples who cannot have biological children of their own may choose to adopt. Other spouses may decide they would like to expand their family through adoption, even if they already have kids of their own. Having siblings can be a wonderful way to grow up. However, there can be a period of adjustment for everyone involved. The following are a few ways to ease the transition for parents and children alike. It is also important to enlist the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney to make your dream come true.   

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Although it is a very exciting time in your life, adopting can also be challenging, especially if your adopted child will be welcomed to your home by new siblings. Here is some practical advice on how to alleviate some of the stress on all family members: 

  1. Include Your Current Children in the Process: Depending on the age of your biological children, they may or may not understand the process your family is embarking on. Talk to them in an age-appropriate language that will help them make sense of the changes that are about to take place and how they will impact their daily routine. 
  2. Gather as Much Information as Possible: Obtain as many details as you can on your adopted child’s medical history, as well as his or her ethnic background. Explain these differences to your children and try to incorporate any cultural traditions into your family.
  3. Beware of Playing Favorites: As a parent, it is important to avoid favoritism with any of your kids. Special treatment of either your adopted child or your biological kids is not fair to anyone. Similarly, disciplining should be consistent for every child. 
  4. Acknowledge Birth Order: Consider that older or younger children may feel some resentment or jealousy if they are no longer the oldest or youngest. It will take time for everyone to get used to their “new normal” after adding another family member, so try not to rush it. Allow your kids to share their feelings by having an open mind and listening.
  5. Seek Family Therapy or Counseling: If any of your children are acting out as a result of the adoption, it might be a wise investment to talk to professionals in child or family counseling. A social worker, family therapist, or adoption specialist can guide your family through this new transition. 

Contact a Farmington Hills Adoption Lawyer

Adoption can be a long and complicated process, but it is worth it in the end. If you are considering adopting a child, it is crucial that you hire an experienced legal team to ensure you complete all the required steps. The distinguished law firm of Elkouri Heath, PLC, has been providing families in southeast Michigan with quality legal services for more than 20 years. We have assisted numerous clients on both sides of family adoption proceedings. Our dedicated Novi, MI, family law attorneys are adept at navigating the adoption process in a thorough and efficient manner. Call our office today at 248-244-9700 to schedule your free consultation.

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What Are the Benefits of a Relative Adoption in Michigan?According to the Adoption Network, approximately 135,000 children are adopted every year in the United States. Relative or related adoption is the legal adoption of a child by a biological relative. For example, it can be the adoption of a child by his or her grandparent, uncle, or cousin. In many states, relative adoptions are not as complicated as non-relative or agency adoptions. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) searches for adoptive families that will best meet the needs of a child. If possible, adoptive placements are made with relatives or foster parents, and siblings are kept together in most situations. It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney when considering any adoption. 

The Basics of a Related Adoption

According to Michigan family law, any individual can be adopted but those who are age 14 or older must give their own consent. In addition, the state law allows adoptive parents 21 days in which to challenge a denial.

Because of the familial relationship in a relative adoption, one attorney is able to represent both parties. In these types of adoptions, it is considered more of an “open” adoption versus a “closed” adoption. However, in cases of divorce where one spouse remarries and a step-parent wishes to adopt the child, each biological parent may choose to hire separate legal representation.  

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I’m a Single Parent – Can I Adopt in Michigan?In the past, the nuclear family was preferred for adoption over other family makeups and dynamics; however, this has changed as society has modernized and the vision of the “American family” has expanded. Many single parents incorrectly believe that they cannot adopt due to their relationship status. In 2017 alone, almost 15,000 single women and nearly 2,000 single men adopted children or youth from foster care. For single women or men looking to adopt a child, it is important to consider how single parenthood would affect their lifestyle and to look at their various options to make an informed decision on the matter.

Lifestyle Changes

It is no secret that having a child changes an adult’s life forever. This is especially true of those looking to embark on this journey alone. Single individuals considering adoption should look at the following three areas to see if they are ready to take that step:

  1. Time Management: This is a skill that every parent is forced to learn when they bring their child home. Balancing work, your child’s needs, and your social life by yourself can be a difficult task. Before single parents move forward with the adoption, it is important to see how they would “fit” their child into their day while making them a priority.
  2. Financial Investment: Children are the most expensive investment a person can make. Necessities such as food, clothing, and doctor’s visits are enough to make a future parent’s head spin. When you think about the possible costs of education or extracurriculars, the investment may seem impossible. Parents should look at their financial stability before making a lifelong commitment to caring for a child.
  3. Relationships: Children can take up most of a parent’s time, making it difficult to start new relationships if they are not already in one. Children can complicate the dynamics of a new relationship and sometimes stop them altogether. Before deciding that a child is in your immediate future, you may want to look at your willingness to prioritize your child over romantic relationships to come.

What Are the Different Types of Adoption?

Aside from adopting a family member or stepchild, there are three different types of adoption available to those looking to grow their family.

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