When parents file for legal separation or divorce in Michigan, it is crucial that they work together in order to develop a parenting schedule that meets the specific needs of their children. Not only can a good visitation schedule help to ease the changes a child may experience when his or her parents separate, but it can support the developmental and social growth of the child as well.
Since each situation is unique, there are several factors that parents should consider when designing a visitation plan. According to the Mayo Clinic, children need the emotional support of both their mother and father, making it essential that the child is able to spend ample time with each parent. Due to varying work schedules, school activities and other events, however, it may be difficult to make a parenting plan that works for all of the parties involved.
According to the Michigan Courts, important factors to consider when creating a visitation schedule include the following:
- Child’s school schedule, such as when the child gets out of school and which parent is available to pick him or her up.
- Alternating holidays or even sharing certain holidays.
- Which parent is available on weekdays and weekends.
It may be beneficial to look at each parents’ work schedule and determine when they are able to spend time with the child. This allows the child to spend the maximum amount of time with each parent, and encourages a strong bond with both the mother and the father. Parents should keep in mind that visitation is different from child custody, and that the orders in the divorce settlement must be followed.