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I live in Chicago area and my soon to be ex filed for divorce

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in Michigan. we have a...
I live in Chicago area and my soon to be ex filed for divorce in Michigan. we have a custody issue as well. He was granted supervised visitations in Michigan. The Safe Haven called me to set up a time for a visit, but I explained to them that I am not working, I am going to school full time and since he has not paid me any child support, I have no money for gas to drive there, or to take a train for the visit. I just received a Motion and Order to Show Cause for Contempt for not taking my child there for a visit. I am supposed to be there on August 12th, but I will be on a cruise for that week with my parents. I do not have an atty. What do I do? How do I file for an extension to appear after I return.

Also, since all parties have agreed that Ill. is the minor childs home domicle, how can I get visitations changed to this state and make him pay for the gas or train?
Your urgent assistance is needed.

Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Family Law
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8/2/2009
Family Lawyer: Lady Themis, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,751
Experience: Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
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Thank you for your question.

It appears that Michigan may not have jurisdiction to hear issues regarding custody of the child, since the child lives in Illinois. Although an order has already been entered in Michigan, you may be able to file a motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. You can then file an action in Illinois.

For the time being, if an order has been entered, you will be subject to contempt motions for failing to provide visitation per the court order. You can defend these motions by saying that he has not paid child support, and that will go in your favor to an extent. If you have not requested child support formally by way of a motion for child support, the court will not have much pity on you.

To have the court date moved, you can file a motion for continuance. The motion should contain the case caption, the date of the hearing, the reason you are requesting a continuance, and the date you are requesting to have the hearing moved to. It will be in the discretion of the court whether to grant this request. You may want to indicate in your motion that the cruise was previously scheduled and has been paid for.

To have visitations changed to this state, you would have to file a motion to modify the visitation order. However, the more appropriate course of action may be to have the Michigan case dismissed altogether and re-file in Illinois.

You have a complicated set of facts, and you would really benefit from an attorney's assistance. One legal aid organization in the Chicago area is:

http://www.lafchicago.org/

Best of luck to you.

Lady Themis
Lady Themis, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7,751
Experience: Divorce, child custody, child support, etc.
Verified
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Family Lawyer: Lady Themis, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
Your additional information is now appearing on my screen. You can also file a motion for contempt for his failure to pay child support. That will go in your favor as a defense to the failure to provide visitations.

The Michigan legal aid website is:

http://www.lafchicago.org/

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Category: Family Law
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