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Creating a Parenting Schedule That Fits Your Family Needs

Raising a child in separate homes after a divorce or separation comes with its share of challenges, some of which arise from differences in approaches to parenting and discipline. A well-crafted parenting time schedule helps overcome some of these challenges by assuring predictability and consistency for both the parents and children. A good schedule also gives both parents the chance to stay actively involved with their child, which can benefit the child’s development, academic success and overall mental health.

In Michigan, parents have great freedom to work out a parenting time plan that makes sense for their family. Parents and their attorneys can negotiate fitting arrangements without the need to go to court. If needed, the parties may bring in a third-party mediator, a neutral person who helps facilitate discussions but does not make any decisions. Reaching an out-of-court agreement is the best route for most couples, as it reduces the amount of conflict and stress that comes with child custody cases in court. It can also save a great deal of money compared to litigation.

When you are preparing to create a parenting schedule, consider factors like these:

  • Your child’s perspective — It’s easy to fall into the trap of aiming for a custody arrangement that works for you without thinking enough about how it impacts the child. Remember that going back and forth between homes will be a disruption for them. If your children are old enough, you could consider discussing the parenting schedule and whether they have preferences on how things should work.
  • Logistics — To share parenting time relatively equally, you’ll have to live close enough to make exchanges easily. If you live more than 100 miles apart, you may need to use a long-distance schedule, which provides for extended periods of parenting time and rules about children’s travel.
  • Vacations, breaks and holidays — Parenting plans often adopt a different schedule when children are out of school for the summer. You’ll want to decide how many days each parent will be allowed for taking the child on vacation. The plan also must cover time sharing during holidays and school recesses.
  • Attention to details — Your plan can include specifics to help everything work smoothly. For example, you can spell out where exchanges will take place, how much advance notice is required if a parent wants to deviate from the plan, and virtually any other details about the arrangement.

Remember, creating a Michigan parenting time schedule is about doing what’s best for your children. Don’t try to use parenting time as revenge against the other parent.

If you would like to discuss parenting time schedules and how a Michigan lawyer can help you create one, call 833-671-4445 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation at Dawson Family Law, PLLC. My office is conveniently located in Sterling Heights.

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    Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314
    Phone: 586-731-7400
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