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February

How is Parenting Time Determined in Divorce?

By Jeffrey M. Salassa

baby holding clock to illustrate the concept of parenting time as viewed by a Clinton Township family lawyer

Are you considering divorce? Do you have children? If you answered yes to these questions, then you probably have several questions of your own. For example, you probably wonder how your parenting time will be affected after your divorce. At Iafrate & Salassa we understand where you are coming from, as we deal with these kinds of situations every day. With over 40 years of experience in family law we are prepared to help you with all your child custody questions and concerns.

Most divorcing parents are very concerned about their children’s best interests when they split up. Likewise, most parents still want to maintain a close relationship with their kids, and be able to play an integral part in their important life decisions. When a couple splits up custody and parenting time are of great importance. So how is parenting time determined in divorce?

The parent with whom the kids will primarily live is known as the custodial parent. That parent will be chiefly responsible for the care and custody of the child or children. Parenting time is the amount of time that the non-custodial parent gets to spend with the children. Parents can work together to determine custody and parenting time, but if they cannot reach an agreement on their own, then the court will have to make a ruling. Either way, the court will have to approve the arrangement.

While many studies have shown that co-parenting has a positive effect on children of divorce, sometimes parents don’t comply with parenting time orders. If you have been granted parenting time but your spouse is not complying with those orders there are some steps you can take to remedy the issue.

  • Friend of the Court – first, you can contact the Friend of the Court and ask that they enforce the order for parenting time. The Friend of the Court must enforce those orders and they will typically start the enforcement as soon as the written complaint is received.
  • File a motion – another option is to file a motion whereby you can ask the court to ensure that the parenting time order is enforced.

The law upholds parenting time even if the non-custodial parent is not making court-ordered child support payments. On the other hand, if a parent has received parenting time, but does not wish to see his or her children, then he or she cannot be forced to do so. Lastly, if the non-custodial parent refuses to return the children according to the court-ordered parenting time arrangement, then the custodial parent can file a complaint or even a kidnapping charge.

Parenting time is nothing to be taken lightly. In most cases, children benefit from consistent time with both parents, which is why parenting time arrangements should be strictly adhered to. If you are having any kind of parenting time issue, then you should speak with the experienced Macomb County attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa. We can help you with any of your child custody and parenting time needs. Give us a call at 586-263-1600, or click here to contact us online.

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