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Parenting Time in Michigan: Guide for Co-Parents

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Parenting time is one of the most important components in maintaining a healthy and nurturing relationship between a child and their parents. In Michigan, the courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining parenting time arrangements. Whether you're a custodial or non-custodial parent, understanding parenting time is vital to fostering a positive and stable environment for your child.

Factors Considered in Parenting Time Determination:

Michigan Courts weigh several factors when determining parenting time arrangements. These include, but are not limited to, the child's age and needs, the child's relationship with each parent, the parents' ability to cooperate, the proximity of the parents' residences, work schedules, and any history of domestic violence. Understanding these factors can help parents anticipate what the court may consider when establishing a parenting time schedule.

Establishing a Parenting Time Schedule:

The parenting time schedule outlines when each parent has the right to spend time with their child. In Michigan, parents are encouraged to develop a mutually agreed-upon schedule through mediation or negotiation. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Court will step in and establish a schedule based on the best interests of the child, often utilizing the services of the Friend of the Court. Creating a comprehensive and realistic parenting time schedule is crucial for maintaining stability and predictability for both parents and the child.

Types of Parenting Time Schedules:

Parenting time schedules in Michigan can vary based on the specific circumstances of each family. Common types of schedules include a regular schedule (e.g., week on/week off, 2-2-3, 2-2-5-5, etc.), a modified schedule (e.g., school breaks, holidays), and a long-distance schedule (when parents reside in different geographical locations). It's important to create a schedule that accommodates the child's needs while considering practicality and consistency.

Modifying Parenting Time Orders:

Parenting time orders may be subject to modification if there is a significant change in circumstances or if the current schedule no longer serves the child's best interests. Reasons for modification can include changes in work schedules, relocation, the child's preferences (depending on age), or safety concerns. Seeking legal advice and following the appropriate legal procedures is essential when seeking modifications to parenting time orders in Michigan.


Parenting time is a critical aspect of a child's upbringing, allowing them to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents. Understanding the factors considered in parenting time determination, establishing a suitable schedule, and fostering successful co-parenting practices are key to providing a stable and nurturing environment for your child in Michigan. By prioritizing open communication, flexibility, and the best interests of the child, parents can navigate parenting time arrangements effectively and ensure that their children have a positive upbringing. Benedetto Law can help you navigate the nuances of creating a parenting time plan or modifying a parenting time order. Contact our office for a free consultation today.

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