Ann Arbor Family Law Lawyers

Experienced Parenting Time Lawyer and Mediator

Parenting time is the actual schedule that each parent has with their child. Michigan recognizes that children are best served by having a strong relationship with both parents, and parenting time should be established to cultivate that relationship. Ann Arbor Family Law Lawyer Wendy Alton can help you understand all the facets of parenting time and help you explore and create plans that best serve your family.

What Is Parenting Time?

When parents separate or divorce, parenting time is the amount of time each parent spends with their children. Michigan law states that “parenting time should be of a frequency, duration and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the child(ren) and the parent.” Parenting time includes weekly schedules with the children, school breaks, holidays, and summer vacations.

How Parenting Time Differs from Custody

Custody involves the decisions that need to be made regarding the children, usually involving issues like education, medical care, and sometimes religion. Parenting time is the actual schedule you have with your child.

There are many different options for parenting time schedules. Some parents share parenting time equally. Other parents create unique plans that accommodate the child’s school or activities, or the parent’s work schedules. As every family is unique, parenting time can also reflect the unique needs and desires of each individual family. Ann Arbor family law attorney Wendy Alton is experienced in crafting creative parenting time solutions and can help you come up with workable plans.

How Parenting Time Is Determined

If the parents cannot agree on parenting time, then the court will decide parenting time by looking at both the “best interests of the children” (see Child Custody), as well as the following factors:

  • Existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child.
  • Age of children and whether a child is nursing.
  • Likelihood of abuse or neglect.
  •  Inconvenience/burdensome impact on the child of traveling to and from parenting time.
  • Whether a parent can reasonably be expected to exercise parenting time as ordered.
  • Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise parenting time.
  • The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent.
  • Any other relevant factor.

Changes to Parenting Time

While the threshold for parenting time modifications is not as stringent as the threshold for child custody changes, there still must be a threshold showing of proper cause or a change of circumstances in order to request a parenting time change. If you have met the threshold, then you must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the proposed parenting time change is in the best interests of the child. Wendy Alton can help you review your parenting time plan, discuss what changes have occurred, and help you think through all the aspects of requesting a parenting time modification.

The Right Family Law Lawyer for Your Parenting Time Concerns

Everyone benefits when co-parents can agree on a parenting time schedule. Wendy Alton can help you come up with a plan—either through negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or litigation—that provides consistency, structure, and support for the whole family.

Contact Our Ann Arbor Family Law Lawyers

Contact Wendy online or call 734-673-3567 to request a complimentary consultation. Discuss your parenting time issues directly with Family Law Attorney Wendy Alton and she’ll help you explore options on how best to proceed.