52nd Judicial Circuit Court-Family Division

Office of the Friend of the Court

Michigan statutes recognize that when parents separate or divorce, the child’s best interests are served by continuation of the parent/child relationship.  So strong is this recognition that the law establishes a presumption that it is in the best interests of a child to have strong relationships with both parents. 

 

Studies demonstrate the adverse consequences that can follow when the child does not have a relationship with both parents. Other studies demonstrate that there is a relationship between the participation of a parent in the lives of his or her child and the willingness of that parent to provide support to the child.

 

 

Parenting time” is the schedule that families follow to indicate when a child spends time with each parent (formerly referred to as “visitation”). 

 

Parenting time should be of a frequency, duration and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the child and the parent.  The child has a right to parenting time unless the court determines that parenting time would endanger the child’s physical, mental or emotional health.

 

          MCL722,27a - Parenting Time Factors

 

The goal of any parenting time plan should be to ensure that a child has a relationship with both parents that, as nearly as possible, encourages continued parental responsibility and promotes continued parental access. 

 

            Michigan Parenting Time Guideline *

 

            Huron County Friend of the Court Parenting Time Guidelines (1997) **

 

            Huron County Friend of the Court Parenting Time Guidelines (2016) **

 

 

* This model schedule has not been adopted by Huron County and is provided for informational purposes only.

 

** The Huron County Friend of the Court Parenting Time Guidelines are provided as model schedules.  The parenting time provisions specified in your court order will be enforced. 

 

 

A parenting time order may contain any reasonable conditions that facilitate the orderly and meaningful exercise of parenting time, including one or more of the following:

 

  • division of the responsibility to transport the child

  • division of the cost of transporting the child

  • restrictions on the presence of third persons during parenting time

  • requirements that the child be ready for parenting time at a specific time

  • requirements that the parent arrive for parenting time and return the child from parenting time at specific times

  • requirements that parenting time occur in the presence of a third person or agency

  • requirements that a party post a bond to assure compliance with a parenting time order.

  • requirements of reasonable notice when parenting time will not occur

  • any other reasonable condition determined to be appropriate in a particular case.

 

 

GENERAL PARENTING TIME POLICIES:

  • The parenting time schedule will be exercised in a prompt manner.In the event of an unforeseen circumstance, a thirty (30) minute delay is allowed for picking up and returning the child.Parents should contact the either party by either text or telephone to advise of the delay.

  • The parties will equally share transportation of the minor children.If the parties cannot agree on how to divide the responsibility, the noncustodial parent will be responsible for transporting the child at the beginning of the parenting time period and the custodial parent will be responsible for transporting the child at the end of the period.

  • The parties may elect to have a responsible adult transport the minor children for parenting time.A “responsible adult” is defined as an individual over the age of eighteen (18) who is known to the minor child.Advance notice shall be provided to the other party whenever arrangements are made for a non-parent to transport the minor child(ren) for visitation purposes.

  • Age-appropriate safety restraints must be utilized during the transportation of the minor child in accordance with the laws of this State.

  • The noncustodial parent must give at least 24 hours notice to the custodial parent of any inability to exercise parenting time.

  • Summer school necessary for the child to pass to the next grade must be attended.The custodial parent must obtain written verification from the school regarding the necessity of summer enrollment.

  • A general itinerary and emergency telephone number will be provided to the other parent if an out-of-town vacation is planned.

  • If there are school-age and non-school age children, then the younger child(ren) shall follow the parenting time schedule of the child(ren) in school.Kindergarten or Young Fives is the first recognized school grade.

  • In the event of a denial of parenting time, the shall be followed.

  • In the event there is a dispute and the parenting time order does not address the disputed issue(s), the Friend of the Court has authority to determine the following: the distance (mileage) between the parties’ homes, what items should be provided by each parent during the noncustodial parent’s parenting time, who may pick up and return the child pursuant to the parenting time schedule, and what child-related activities the noncustodial parent cannot engage in during parenting time (such as hair-cutting, ear-piercing, unauthorized non-emergency medical treatment, etc.).

 

 

MAKE-UP PARENTING TIME:

 

Just like a parent may accrue an arrearage in child support, a parenting time arrearage may exist when it is determined that parenting time has been wrongfully denied.  If parenting time is denied, a written complaint must be submitted to the Friend of Court within fifty-six (56) days of the denial. 

 

 Huron County Make-Up Parenting Time Policy (1997)

            Huron County Make-Up Parenting Time Policy (2016)

 

 Parenting Time Complaint

 

Pursuant to MCL 552.641, the Friend of the Court is required to respond to alleged violations of parenting time orders by doing one or more of the following:

 

  • apply a makeup parenting time policy

  • commence civil contempt proceedings

  • file a motion with the court for modification of existing parenting time provisions

  • schedule mediation

  • schedule a joint meeting

 

 

MODIFICIATION OF PARENTING TIME ORDERS:

 

When a request is made to modify an existing parenting time order and the parties do not agree that the modification is in the child’s best interests, judges must determine if there is proper cause or a change in circumstances.  Michigan case law determines what qualifies as proper cause or a change in circumstances.

 

            Shade v. Wright, 291 Mich. App. 17; 805 N.W.2d 1 (2010)

 

Parties should adopt parenting time schedules that are flexible and expansive while keeping in mind their child’s need for certainty and stability.  Parties can obtain assistance with parenting time issues from their attorneys, the help of the friend of the court office, and/or the process of mediation.  Parents can also work through the court system to modify parenting time provisions by filing the proper paperwork.

 

            Request for Mediation Services

 

            Motion Regarding Parenting Time

            Response to Motion Regarding Parenting Time

            Order Regarding Parenting Time

250 E. Huron Ave 
Bad Axe, MI  48413

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