If you are divorced but have children from the marriage, you are likely to have a child custody arrangement that includes parenting time. What happens when you have a change in your life, or your family more generally experiences a significant life change that requires a modification to your parenting time order? For example, can you change your parenting time order if you change jobs and have a drastically different schedule? How can you modify your parenting time order if your job wants you to relocate to another city in Michigan?
These are common questions for parents who are divorced but share a child. The most important thing to keep in mind is that a parenting time order is not permanent. When circumstances require it, the parenting time order can be modified as long as the changes remain in the child’s best interests. We will provide you with some additional information about parenting time modifications in Michigan.
Can You Come to an Agreement With the Child’s Other Parent?
For most Michigan parents who want to change or modify a parenting time order, typically the easiest way to begin the process is to come to an agreement with the other parent. For example, if you used to work regular 9-to-5 hours during the work week and the parenting time schedule reflected those work hours, you may need to modify your parenting time schedule if you have been moved to a schedule in which you work long hours over the weekend. Or, for instance, perhaps you lost your job and had to take a lower-paying job that prevents you from paying for an automobile with which you can transport the child. In such a situation, you may need to have the other parent provide transportation for the child when you both used to share that responsibility.
If the other parent agrees to modify the schedule, the process can be quite simple with the help of an experienced Michigan parenting time lawyer. However, when the other parent will not agree to a modification, then you will need to file a Motion Regarding Parenting Time, or a Motion to Modify Parenting Time (MCL 552.517(d)(1)). The following types of changes are examples of those that can be recommended after you file a motion to modify parenting time:
- Division of the parents’ responsibility to transport the child;
- Division of the cost of transporting the child;
- Restrictions on the presence of a third party during parenting time;
- Requirement that child be ready for parenting time at a specific time;
- Requirement that parent pick up or return the child from parenting time at a specific time;
- Requirement that parenting time occur in the presence of a third party; and/or
- Requirement that a parent give reasonable notice when parenting time will not happen on a particular day.
Learn More from an Experienced Michigan Family Law Attorney
If you need assistance modifying a parenting time schedule, a dedicated Michigan family law attorney can help with your situation. Contact the law office of Paul J. Tafelski today to learn more about how we assist families with child custody and parenting time issues in Michigan.