Michigan Family Law Attorney Assisting Clients with Parenting Time
Going through a divorce and anticipating the contentious issues surrounding child custody and parenting time can be extremely challenging. Legal matters of parenting time are governed by MCL 722.27a, which is part of the Michigan Child Custody Act. When you have questions or concerns about parenting time, a Michigan parenting time attorney can help.
Learning More About Parenting Time in Michigan
As a handout from the Michigan Courts explains, the state has an interest in making sure that there is a continuation of the parent-child relationship even when parents are going through a divorce. Indeed, the law recognizes that it is in the best interests of the child to have a strong relationship with both parents, regardless of issues that might exist between the parents. As such, the Michigan Courts emphasize that “parenting time should be of a frequency, duration, and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the parent and the child.”
What else does the statute say? Importantly, Michigan law recognizes that a child has a right to parenting time with both parents unless there is a determination by the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that parenting time with one parent “would endanger the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health.” The standard of “clear and convincing evidence” makes clear that the state really does want a child to have parenting time with both parents.
Who Decides Parenting Time in Michigan?
If the parents can come to an agreement regarding the terms of parenting time, then the court can sign off on that agreement unless it determines that the terms of the agreement would not be in the best interests of the child. In the event that the parents cannot agree, then the court will make a determination about parenting time.
Factors the Court Can Take Into Account in Determining the Length, Frequency, and Type of Parenting Time
What factors does the court consider when determining the length, frequency, and type of parenting time? It can consider many different factors, including but not limited to the following:
- Special circumstances or needs of the child;
- Whether the child is less than 6 months old, or less than one year old, and receives substantial nutrition through nursing;
- Reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect;
- Reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent as a result of exercising parenting time;
- Inconvenience of travel on the child for parenting time;
- Whether parent(s) are likely to exercise parenting time according to the court order;
- Whether parent has a history of failing to exercise reasonable parenting time;
- Threatened or actual detention of the child, with intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent; and
- Other relevant factors.
In the event that a parent objects to a court’s decision concerning parenting time, she or he can file a written objection. In addition, a parent can file a motion to modify or rescind an existing parenting order.
Contact a Michigan Parenting Time Attorney
Do you have questions about developing an agreement about the terms of parenting time, or concerns about what the court will determine is in the best interests of the child? An experienced Michigan parenting time lawyer can assist you. Contact the law office of Paul J. Tafelski today for more information.