Parenting Time is a Right, Not a Privilege

Parental visitation is known as Parenting Time in Michigan. Parenting time is a court-ordered determination usually made in conjunction with child custody and child support orders. Michigan law recognizes that it is in the best interest of the child to have a strong relationship with both parents and that parenting time is essential to the relationship. The parenting time schedule should ensure that the non-custodial parent (the parent with whom the child does not live with a majority of the time) has the opportunity to develop a nurturing and supportive connection with the child.

Unfortunately, in some cases the amount of time with each parent may not be equal. However, the distribution of the time must be in the best interest of the child. There are several factors that may result in an unequal parenting time schedule, such as a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, and/or mental illness. And even in these special circumstances, supervised parenting time may be ordered.

Court-ordered parenting time is a court order. Violating the order by withholding the child or failing to pick-up the child, can result in a parent being found in contempt—leading to fines, losing custody, and even jail time. In the most egregious cases, a parent can be charged with the parental kidnapping or taking—a felony, for taking or withholding the child outside their prescribed parenting time.

If you have questions regarding your parenting time, custody, support or divorce matter, call Great Lakes today!


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