Parenting time options in a Michigan divorce.
Sometimes the biggest challenge in a divorce or custody case is deciding when a child will spend time with each parent. Parenting time (formally visitation) is the legal term used to describe simply that time and in this article we discuss some of the most popular parenting time schedules.
If the parents of a child can agree on parenting time terms, the court will order parenting time in accordance with the agreement unless it would endanger the child. (See MCL 722.27a(2)). However, if the parents of a child cannot agree on parenting time terms, the court will decide.
Since every parent and child are different, there is no one size fits all schedule. Considerations such as a parents work schedule, the child’s academic, social or medical requirements may require consideration in determining a schedule. Notwithstanding, there are some common parenting time schedules which are examined below.
Most schedules revolve around a two week rotation with parents alternating weekends. The Sunday overnight is optional.
Sample 50-50 or equal schedules.
50-50 or equal parenting time schedules take three common parenting time schedules.
The first equal parenting time schedule is alternating weeks.
The second equal parenting time schedule is a 2-2-5-5 schedule where one parent is awarded every Monday and Tuesday and the other parenting is awarded every Wednesday and Thursday.
The third equal parenting time schedule is a 2-2-3 schedule where one the parents alternate Monday and Tuesday, alternate Wednesday and Thursday and alternate the weekends.
Sample traditional schedules.
Traditional parenting time schedules are not that traditional any longer. Notwithstanding, traditional parenting time schedules almost always start with alternating weekends which may (or may not include Sunday overnights).
The most traditional parenting time schedule was alternate weekends and a midweek overnight. In this example, dad is awarded every other Wednesday overnight and every other weekend.
Non-traditional work schedules and parenting time.
Certain occupations such as pilots or fireman have non-traditional work schedules. For example, it is not uncommon for a fireman to work several 24 hour shifts in a row followed by several days off. A common remedy to this problem is to create a 4 week parenting time schedule and modifying parenting time each month when the work schedule is published.
Summer parenting time schedule.
A common variation on the parenting time schedules provided above is to craft a unique parenting time schedule for the summer vs. the school year. For example, it is not uncommon to award one parent a traditional parenting time schedule such as every other weekend and one mid-week overnight during the school year and the other parent the exact same schedule during the summer months.
Since every family is unique a parenting time schedule should fit the needs of the family and the child(ren) in accordance with their best interest. We can help you formulate a parenting time schedule that is right for your family.
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By: Daniel Findling
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