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Creating an Effective Michigan Parenting Time Plan

 Posted on January 12, 2023 in Divorce

Oakland County parenting plan attorneysIn Michigan, a parenting time schedule and a parenting time plan are both ordinarily included as elements of a child custody order. When parents agree on the terms of their parenting time plans, their attorneys assist them with finalizing and formalizing these terms before they are submitted to the court for approval. If parents cannot agree to these terms, a judge will be called upon to order whatever arrangement they believe is in the affected child’s best interests.

If you and your child’s other parent need to craft workable parenting time plans, there are a few solid tips that you will want to consider. If you hope to reach an agreement, you can work through this process together with the help of your attorneys. If your child custody situation is contentious, your attorney can help you craft terms that reflect your child’s best interests so that your proposal is more likely to be viewed favorably by the judge assigned to your case.

Parenting Time Schedule vs. Parenting Time Plan

Your parenting time schedule will indicate when your child will be with you and when they will be with their other parent. Your parenting time plan will outline the “nitty gritty details” of how your co-parenting arrangement will work. You can address virtually any issue in a parenting time plan, from who will be responsible for paying extracurricular fees to whether you and your co-parent must reach a mutual agreement before your child can pierce their ears.

Setting Expectations

The terms of your parenting time schedule and your parenting time plan will be legally enforceable once they have been approved by a judge. As a result, you will want to keep in mind the twin goals of a workable, effective co-parenting situation: stability and flexibility. These words may seem like opposites but they are not in a co-parenting context.

You will need terms that are stable enough that everyone has clear expectations and can plan their lives accordingly. But these terms – when appropriate – need to be flexible enough so that the realities of life do not put one or both co-parents at frequent risk of breaching the agreement. For example, instead of insisting that your child will call one of you every night at 7 p.m., consider allowing the child to call one of you every night at 7 p.m. unless a mutual agreement has been made to alter that time for the day at least one hour in advance. That way, if you, your child, or your co-parent can agree to accommodate a shift for whatever reason, you will not be locked into this specific timing structure.

Contact an Oakland County Divorce Lawyer for a Free Consultation

The knowledgeable team of Farmington Hills child custody lawyers at Elkouri Heath, PLC can help you to construct a parenting time schedule and a parenting time plan that is both workable and reflects your child’s best interests. You can schedule a legal consultation with our team at no cost by submitting a contact form on our website or by calling us at 248-344-9700. We look forward to meeting with you. 




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