Parenting time, or visitation, as it is commonly referred, is the amount of time each parent has with the minor children. Gone are the days where one parent, usually the father, had parenting time every other weekend. Currently, close to 50% of divorcing couples share 50/50 parenting time and in many of the other cases, both parties have significant time with the children. It's important for the parties to be flexible in determining a parenting time schedule that works around their work schedules and what is best for the children. Further, parties are encouraged to divide holidays equally.
Sometimes parenting time orders simply state that the non-custodial parent has “reasonable” parenting time with the minor children. In an amicable divorce with cooperative parents, this language may be satisfactory. However, in many cases, we prefer to include a specific parenting time schedule, even if used only as a fall-back provision, in order to prevent future disagreements.
If there has been a change of circumstances or if one party wants to have specific parenting time, they will have to file a Motion with the court. In many courts, the parties will then have a hearing with the Referee, who will issue a recommendation. If either party disagrees with the recommendation, they can file an objection and have the matter heard by the Judge.
In Michigan, when there is joint legal custody, the primary residence of the minor child cannot be moved more than 100 miles from its current location or outside of the state without the permission of the either party or permission of the court. If the non-custodial parent refuses to give permission, the custodial parent must file a Motion and ask the court for permission to move. In making its determination, the court must consider the following factors: