Darius McCrary, who played the role of Eddie Winslow on the 1990s hit television show Family Matters, was arrested recently in Michigan for failure to pay child support. The 38-year-old actor was arrested at the order of a judge during a court appearance by McCrary. The judge told the former TV star to either pay the child support owed or to go to jail.
News stories about child support issues, such as a non-payment, delinquent parents, arrests, and high child custody amount and their modifications are not uncommon. In fact, individuals may hear them on a daily basis.
Typically, the issue of paternity comes up in cases where an unmarried mother has given birth and is seeking child support from the father of the child, but is unsure of who may be the father or the man the mother claims to be the father disputes the claim. In such cases, a court will order a DNA test to determine paternity. Once paternity determinations have been made through DNA analysis, depending on the custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent will typically be required to pay child support.
In a divorce case where one party has been ordered to pay alimony, commonly referred to as spousal support, the tax implications for giving and receiving alimony may be unclear to the parties. Michigan residents may be unfamiliar with the Internal Revenue Service requirement of alimony.
In Michigan, when determining a parent's child support obligation, the very first step that the court takes is to figure out both the parents' net incomes. It is important to understand that for the purposes of child support, net income is not the individuals' take-home pay. Instead, the court considers all pertinent aspects of the parents' financial circumstances in child support cases.
Though many parents with children hope for their separation or divorce to be as smooth and painless as possible, the reality is when substantial changes in one's circumstances occur such as a job loss or layoff, the parent obligated to pay child support may, due to no fault of their own, not be able to able to meet their court ordered monthly child support obligation.
In order to have an understanding of how spousal support works, one should have a basic understanding of why courts consider granting or denying spousal support. In essence, the primary reason for exploring whether or not one of the spouses in a divorce should be granted alimony is to balance any potentially unfair economic effects on one spouse.
Although most parents want to do what is in the best interest of their child or children, there may be times, typically due to unforeseen circumstances such as an injury, lay off or unexpected medical expense, which may result in a decrease in income and a subsequent inability of the parent to pay monthly child support. However, ignoring the problem, avoiding paying child support or simply failing to seek a modification for child support payment can have dire consequences and penalties.
Following the birth of a child, many couples may consider the value of one of the spouses remaining at home to care for the new addition. Where a family may have enjoyed dual income, a decision to stay at home will undoubtedly require a sacrifice on the part of both the parties. In many cases, however, when one spouse decides to quit their job, the couple may not have considered all the implications of making this decision and all the consequences that follow should the marriage fall apart.
In any relationship child custody, child support and parenting time disputes between parents could arise at some point before the child emancipates. Every situation is different, but generally family courts apply the "best interest of the child" standard to determine which parent should get custody.