“Reasonable” or “Liberal” Parenting Time: Clarkston, Waterford Lawyer
When parents are able to reasonably communicate about their children, parenting time is often left as “reasonable” and “liberal” to maintain a flexible schedule that may accommodate the changing and evolving needs of families. However, most parents are encouraged to have some format of an enforceable parenting time schedule, including how to handle specific holidays and school breaks to rely upon if disputes arise.
However, for many parties going through a divorce, parenting time is the most critical issue to address as it will impact the rights of each party to parent their children. When parents have angry relationships, the parties will be forced to rely upon the Court system to determine what is the best schedule for their child(ren).
When Parents Can’t Agree on Visitation: Clarkston, Waterford Lawyer
The Judge will often refer the parties who cannot reach an agreement to mediation or to the Friend of the Court branch for an investigation into the various factual disputes and for a recommendation as to a specific schedule that will be imposed upon the family. In these cases, a very specific schedule is likely to be ordered by the Court, and the advice of an experienced attorney for these high conflict cases is essential to present a parent’s best position to the Court and to defend against allegations between the parties.
In an ideal world, both parents would be able to agree on the specific days and times that each would have the child, and would accommodate each other’s’ schedules. When parents are agreeable and cooperative it causes less stress and less psychological damage to the child. Unfortunately, however, many times one parent is uncooperative and/or unwilling to be accommodating. When this happens and the parents cannot agree on parenting time, the Court will have to determine parenting time.
Common Visitation Arrangements: Clarkston, Waterford Lawyer
In Michigan, it is common for the Court to allow the child to live during the week with the parent who can provide the most stable environment, giving preference to the parent who can provide the most stable and supportive environment for the child’s health, education and emotional well-being. The non-custodial parent is then typically (though not always) allowed to see the child one evening during every week, as well as every-other weekend, and on alternating holidays, and for 2 to 4 weeks during summer vacations from school. And the trend is to allow more expansive alternate weekend parenting time as well as more flexible vacation periods for both parents.
It is important to note that since child support is based upon the number of overnights spent with each parent, this may result in difficult litigation issues as payors are sometimes motivated to engineer schedules that are not practical nor reasonable for the minor child(ren) in order to limit financial support. These types of issues require the acumen of an experienced family law attorney to re-focus the issue squarely upon what is best for the child. We insist that the child remain the primary focus, despite the many distracting divorce and/or parenting disputes.