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How do courts determine parenting time?

| Oct 13, 2020 | Child custody |

Divorcing parents will need a parenting plan in place to ensure the children are properly cared for. Family courts in Michigan determine parenting time based on what is in the best interest of the child.

In most cases, the child’s best interests are best served when both parents are actively involved in the child’s life. However, in cases involving abuse or domestic violence, the court may find that the child’s best interests are served by limiting one parent’s parenting time.

Factors used to determine parenting time

The court reviewing your case will consider a number of factors when determining parenting time. Some of these factors include:

  • Needs of the child and whether the child is nursing
  • Likelihood of abuse or neglect during parenting time
  • The impact on the child of traveling to and from parenting time
  • One parent’s threats to keep the child from the other parent
  • Whether a parent can reasonably abide by the court order dictating parenting time

Parenting time orders must also include important terms and conditions specifying:

  • Division of costs and responsibilities of transporting the child
  • Restricting third party presence during parenting time
  • Details of pickups and drop-offs
  • Requirements to provide reasonable notice of schedule changes

Parenting time plans must have some flexibility to allow for the occasional schedule change, but should also offer stability and structure for the entire family. A Michigan family law attorney can make sure that your parenting time plan is successful and focuses on the needs of your child.