Michigan parenting time and the child’s birthday
Parenting time in Michigan time governs the times and frequency parents spend with their children. In a perfect world, parents get along and a parenting time order could read something like: “The parents are awarded liberal and frequent parenting time”. Since we do not live in a perfect world, one issue that arises in drafting a specific parenting time schedule is how should parents share a child’s birthday?
For example, an Indiana court drafted a complicated scheme to address the child’s birthday issue:
“ Child’s birthday. In even numbered years the non-custodial parent shall have all of the children on each child’s birthday from 9:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M. However, if the birthday falls on a school day, then from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.
 In odd numbered years the non-custodial parent shall have all of the children on each child’s birthday on the day before the child’s birthday from 9:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M., however, if such day falls on a school day, then from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.
 When the child’s birthday falls within a Special Day, Holiday, or Christmas vacation, the child’s birthday shall be celebrated with the parent having the child during that time period.”
Parenting Time during a child’s birthday is generally awarded one of three and hopefully less complicated ways in Michigan divorce and custody cases:
- Both parents can celebrate the child’s birthday together;
- Each parent can celebrate the child’s birthday on a different day; or
- Both parents can celebrate the child’s birthday at different times on the same day;
For parents who have an amicable relationship celebrating a child’s birthday together can foster and nurture the family unit. Other parents prefer spending quality time alone during a child’s birthday on either different times or different days.
Most important of all is that your child understand that he/she is loved on his/her birthday.
With proper planning and a specific parenting time schedule in Michigan divorce and Michigan custody cases, conflicts during a child’s birthday can be avoided allowing parents and child an opportunity to have one less thing to worry about.
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By: Daniel Findling