December 14, 2017

What is parenting time?

If you are a Michigan resident contemplating divorce, one of your biggest concerns undoubtedly is the amount of time your children will spend with each parent after your divorce. As the Oakland County Friend of the Court explains, this is called parenting time.

Michigan law regarding parenting time is nonspecific in nature, and you and your spouse are encouraged to cooperate with each other and develop your own parenting time schedules, taking into consider the following things:

  • Your child’s age
  • Your child’s school schedule
  • Each parent’s work schedule
  • How far away you and your ex-spouse live from each other

Be aware that under Michigan law, your child(ren)’s noncustodial parent must have “liberal or reasonable rights” to parenting time. Schedules can include alternate weekends with each parent, alternating holidays, and one midweek visit to the noncustodial parent’s home that does not include staying overnight.

When disputes arise

If you and your spouse cannot agree on what constitutes liberal or reasonable rights, either or both of you can request that the Friend of the Court step in. This agency provides many services to divorcing parents, including the following:

  • Mediation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Joint meetings between you and your spouse
  • Drafting consent agreements

Another option if you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting time schedule is for you to request that the court grant you a specific parenting time order. To do this, you must file a motion with the court. Most people hire an attorney to handle such a court action, but if you choose to represent yourself, you can obtain the proper forms through the Friend of the Court Office.

This information is provided for educational purposes. It should not be interpreted as legal advice.