Can I Change my Parenting Time Agreement in Michigan? (Pt 2)

Not being able to see your kids as often as you’d like after a divorce is hard on both the parents and the kids!

Hi there and welcome back. We’ve been talking about changing parenting time agreements in Michigan, why someone would want to (or not want to) and what’s involved in the process. As we mentioned in the previous article, parents have a fundamental right to be involved in their children’s lives. So how can you get more time with your kids?

Only the court can change a visitation order in Michigan!

This means that if you want to see more of your child, asking the other parent to give you more frequent or longer visitation won’t work. They don’t have the right to change or extend your visitation rights. That’s for the court to do. However, harsh and unnecessary as it may sound for exes who get along, this protects exes who don’t get along!

If you and your ex can’t exchange a civil word, then you’ll be happy to know that the decision to deny you visitation doesn’t lie with your ex or their attorney. If your child’s other parent interferes with your visitation in any way, by changing the schedule to something incompatible with your availability in the hopes of reducing your contact, or denying you your court ordered visitation times, you have a legal right to report that to the court! (And you should!)

So how do you change a visitation order when you want more time?

You start by talking to your attorney. Let them know you want more time with your kids and prepared to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Your attorney will discuss options with you, and help you come up with some ideas for what you think would be more reasonable.

Now it’s time to discuss the proposed changes with your ex. If they’re on board, the rest of the process is easy, a judge is likely to support a parenting time change that’s fair and both parents have already agreed to it. But if your ex doesn’t agree, you may be in for a battle!

What to do if you don’t agree on the change?

If your ex doesn’t like the changes you proposed, or you’re not on good terms and they’re likely to disagree with you no matter how reasonable you’re being, you’re going to end up in court. Your attorney will have to file a motion on your behalf requesting that the court change the parenting time order, and provide the reasons why you want it changed.

In considering whether or not to grant your parenting time changes, the Judge will consider many factors. These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Whether or not the change will alter your child’s established custodial environment
  • Whether or not the change will alter how often, or for how long parenting time occurs
  • Whether or not the change will add, alter, or remove a parenting time condition (such as supervision or drug tests)
  • How the proposed change might interfere with both parents work schedules and availability, and the child’s availability (is your child involved in extracurricular activities that would have to be cancelled to accommodate the changes)

Modifying parenting time orders in Michigan can be challenging!

There’s a lot to consider deciding to change your parenting time agreement. So if you have a custody or parenting time concern you’d like help with, or you want to modify your child support, please call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled and experienced family law attorneys offer premier family legal services to all residents of mid-Michigan and the surrounding areas. We are available 24/7 to help you, no matter how complex, confusing, or stressful the issue.