When a child’s parents divorce or separate, parenting time is decided by the court and refers to the time a child spends with each parent. It is decided with the child’s best interests in mind.
In Michigan, the law recognizes that it is important for parents to maintain a strong relationship with their child. The court encourages parenting time plans to offer structure and flexibility.
When determining the length, frequency and type of parenting time, the court may consider several factors. These include the age of the child, the burden on the child who may need to travel back and forth for the parenting time, whether a parent has previously failed to exercise reasonable parenting time and any other special circumstances or needs of the child.
If there is a concern about the safety or well-being of the child during parenting time, the court may also require that the visit is supervised.
One parent cannot deny parenting time to the other for reasons such as the child’s minor illness, weather, because the noncustodial parent is behind on child support or in similar circumstances. Parents must make every effort to ensure the parenting time occurs.
There are also general items that parents are responsible for during parenting time. The parents must provide adequate clothing, transportation and provide for the child’s medical needs. Parenting time should not be used for the parents to discuss bills, child support issues or similar concerns.
Parenting time plans are most successful when the parents are respectful to each other.
If parents have questions, an attorney can provide guidance about parenting time, child custody, child support and other related matters.