For couples who are unmarried or getting a divorce, parenting time is often a contentious issue. Previously, the court would issue an order appointing one parent as the primary guardian, while the other would get visitation on weeknights and every other weekend. Today, the Michigan courts urge parents to develop a time sharing schedule that allows both to play an active and engaged role in the child’s life. In order to ensure your plan is a success and covers all bases, it is important to be as detailed as possible. The following are some provisions you will want to consider.
Important Considerations to Include In Your Parenting Plan
Time sharing arrangements involve a court order which dictates where the child lives and the amount of involvement each parent gets to play in their lives. In any disputes involving parents and their children, a parenting plan is required to outline details surrounding these arrangements. Under Michigan’s Child Custody Act, factors to consider when making these plans include the age of the child, any special needs they have, their current and previous relationship with each parent, and any issues on the part of the parent, such as domestic violence or drug abuse, which could put the child at risk.
In making a parenting plan, you will want to go into as much detail over how the child’s time will be divided between each parent. This includes plans for weeknights, weekends, and holidays, along with birthdays, school breaks, and other special occasions. Other areas which the Michigan Court parenting time guidelines suggest including are:
- A location for drop off/pick up of children during scheduled visits;
- Who will be responsible for transportation between visits and how transportation costs will be divided;
- Restrictions on third parties who are to be present during visitations, such as romantic partners;
- Third parties which are permitted during visitations, such as grandparents and other family members;
- Requirements in terms of providing reasonable notice when one of the parents is unable to assume their parenting time responsibilities;
- Provisions for child care arrangements, which may involve notifying the other parent first, in the event it is needed during parenting time;
- Arrangements on how the parents will communicate with each other in making arrangements, such as phone calls, texts, and emails.
Contact Us Today for Help
In making arrangements that impact your children, our Michigan parenting plan attorneys are here to help. Reach out and contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today and request a consultation about establishing time sharing arrangements or modifying an existing custody order.