Visitation, also called parenting time in Michigan, is a right that a parent may secure if they do not receive custody of their child after separation or divorce. Parenting time is an invaluable legal concept that ensures children and their noncustodial parents have ongoing opportunities to build and grow their relationships. This post will discuss some of the factors that may be considered when a parent receives parenting time by a family law court and the types of parenting time they may be entitled to receive. No part of this post should be read as legal advice or used as specific guidance on a particular family law or divorce case.
Why might a parent receive parenting time and not custody?
Decisions regarding the care of children following separations and divorces often focus heavily on what arrangements will best serve the interests of the affected children. In some cases, parents may both receive custody and share equally in their access to and duties to support their kids. In other situations, one parent may receive custody and their co-parent may be awarded parenting time.
If a parent receives parenting time rights, many factors will go into the decision for when, how much, and for how long they may be with their children. A parent’s willingness and ability to follow a parenting time schedule will support their rights, but a parent who is unwilling to work within the limits of their parenting time schedule may see their access to their children reduced. A family law lawyer can support their client’s needs with regard to understanding their parenting time award.
Types of parenting time
Parenting time can look very different from family to family. For some parents, parenting time may allow them uninterrupted access to their kids for extended periods of time. For others, parenting time may involve supervised visits under the eye of third party neutral entities. In some situations, when parents live far from their children, parenting time may involve contact through electronic means, such as email or texting.
Parenting time is established for every distinct family. As such, parents should not rely on the outcomes of other family law cases to guess what their custody and parenting time outcomes may be. Attorneys can help their family law clients work through their legal needs and advocate for their children’s best interests.