What You Need to Know About The Michigan Supreme Court’s Parenting Time Guidelines (Pt 1)

Divorcing parents in Michigan face the unenviable challenge of figuring out what kind custody agreement and parenting time schedule works best for themselves and their kids. There are a  lot of factors to consider, from work schedules to babysitting options, and it can be really tough to set your own agenda aside and focus solely on what’s best for your kids. The Michigan Supreme Court recognizes how difficult this process can be, and so they came up with some very helpful parenting time guidelines for divorcing parents. We thought we’d share a few highlights with you here:

A young dad holding his baby at the beach.

Parents need to do the following, regardless of their situation:

According to the guidelines, there are certain basic rules that all parents should follow when working to figure out a parenting time schedule. The list they provide is long, but includes very useful (and very important) suggestions for parent behavior during this process, including being respectful to one another, putting the needs of your child before your own wants, and not fighting with your spouse in front of your children. They also include a section on the importance of good communication between parents.

Parenting time decisions should take into account the kid’s age:

The Supreme Court points out that children at different ages need different levels of interactions with both parents. They provide a very helpful and easy to understand breakdown on what children in each age category need based on their developmental needs. For example, infants (birth to 12 months) are still learning to trust their caregivers and have much shorter memory spans, so it’s important for parents to spend time being actively engaged with their babies on a regular basis. Toddlers (1 to 3 years) on the other hand, have strong emotions they haven’t yet learned to control. They need regular opportunities to bond with both parents in a supportive environment.

Many families have special considerations that need to be accounted for:

Whether it’s kids with special needs, breastfeeding babies, or kids who are involved in certain time consuming extra-curricular activities, many families have unique circumstances that need to be taken into consideration when developing parenting time schedules. According to the Supreme Court’s guidelines, you must discuss your family’s specific needs, and be willing to be flexible in order to meet those needs effectively. Discuss them with your attorney, and be reasonable when working with your spouse to accommodate them, for your children’s sake.

Talk to your attorney about your parenting time needs for your family

Figuring out child custody and parenting time schedules can be a stressful process for divorcing parents. If you and your spouse are struggling to figure out a reasonable visitation schedule, call the experienced family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. We’ve spent decades helping parents all over mid-Michigan with every aspect of their divorces, including parenting time schedules and child custody concerns. Call 866 766 5245 today if you need help with your divorce. We do free zoom and phone consultations, and can be available nights and weekends for emergency situations.