Determining Parenting Time in Macomb County
In Michigan, the court determines whether it is in the best interests of the child to have time with both their custodial and non-custodial parents. This is known as parenting time. Every Michigan divorce is unique and determining a schedule of time is also determining who will have the final say on what is right for a child, but parents have plenty of time to put together the parenting schedule that is right for them and their daily life.
Michigan’s Parenting Time Guidelines
Every Michigan divorce is unique and the splitting up of time is unique too, though the final document solidified time must be specific and followed. The general schedule in Macomb County is a jumping-off point for a divorcing couple and is as follows:
- Regular parenting time: This includes weekend time (every other weekend from 6 p.m. on Friday until 7 p.m. on Sunday during the school year and 8 p.m. during the summer) and weekday time (one night per week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on school days and 9 p.m. during summer).
- Holiday and break parenting time: All holiday and break parenting time takes precedence over the regular time schedule until the holidays and breaks are over and regular parenting time resumes. When children are infants or toddlers, other arrangements are often made for holidays and breaks rather than following the typical school schedule. The recognized holidays and breaks include:
- Memorial Day weekend (non-custodial parent has this holiday every year)
- Labor Day weekend (custodial parent has this holiday every year)
- Fourth of July (father in even-numbered years, mother in odd-numbered years)
- Halloween (father in even-numbered years, mother in odd-numbered years)
- Thanksgiving weekend (father in even-numbered years, mother in odd-numbered years)
- Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with the respective parents
- Christmas/winter break (split on even- and odd-numbered years so each parent has the child on Christmas every other year)
- Easter/spring break (father in even-numbered years, mother in odd-numbered years)
- Mid-winter break (father in odd-numbered years, mother in even-numbered years)
- Summer parenting time: Each parent gets a total of three weeks with only two consecutive weeks and follow the regular time schedule all other times. Summer parenting time dates must be exchanged with the other parent by May 15 or risk choosing alternate weeks than what was originally hoped for.
- Extracurricular activities: Parents are responsible for taking the child to all extracurricular and sporting activities when they are scheduled during their parenting time.
- Child’s birthday: Alternating years (father in even-numbered years, mother in odd-numbered years) with holiday and break time schedule superseding the birthday time schedule.
When same-sex parents divorce, the plaintiff will follow the mother’s schedule and the defendant will follow the father’s schedule for holiday and break time schedule.
A parent may not be denied parenting time because he or she is behind in child support or not paying child support. A parent may not stop paying child support even though they allege that they are being denied parenting time.
What Is Fair Parenting Time?
It is every good parent’s right to be part of their child’s life. Knowing the Michigan guidelines for parenting time and arranging a schedule around this guideline makes it more likely for a court to quickly grant the motion.
The court considers a child having both parents involved in the child’s life as being in the child’s best interest, as long as there are no clear circumstances that pose a danger to the child such as neglect or abuse. Shared custody and reasonable parenting time are encouraged by Michigan courts, though special circumstances are taken into consideration, such as when an infant is nursing or a child has special needs.
When a couple is not having an amicable divorce, it may be tempting to use visitation time as a weapon, but doing so only harms the child. The court looks at whether a time plan will be inconvenient to the child or burdensome, particularly as it relates to schooling.
Getting the Time You Want
Parenting time is a privilege, and it is in everyone’s best interest to work together for the sake of the child so the child can have time with both parents without having their own life greatly disrupted. At Michigan Divorce Help, we work with our clients to help them reach that “magic number” whenever possible so both parents have equal time. In some cases, particularly involving sole custody, there are visitation rights and grandparent rights to consider.
We understand that the splitting up of a family is sad, difficult, and overwhelming. It is our role to help you determine a time plan that is in your child’s best interest while aiming to meet your goals too. Contact us to schedule your no-cost initial consultation to discuss your Michigan divorce.