Common issues related to parenting time include:
- Clothing - Each parent should provide adequate clothing, though seasonal or specialty items can be transported back and forth (and returned in good, clean condition).
- Transportation - The parent exercising the time should provide transportation unless otherwise agreed or ordered by the court.
- Arguments - Parenting time exchanges should not be spoiled with discussions of adult issues (e.g., child support, bills, parenting time problems) or any disrespectful behavior.
Medical Needs - Parents should exchange all medications, medical instructions, and other information that protects the care and well-being of the child.
- Denying Parenting Time - Time should be encouraged and facilitated by both parents and should not be denied on the basis of minor illness, “other plans,” or reasons unilaterally established by the parent or child.
- Extracurricular Activities - Parents should make every effort to cooperate and not schedule activities that interfere with the parenting time.
Parents should help prepare their child emotionally for parenting time. Parenting time should not be denied in instances of minor illnesses, bad weather, or a child refusing to go. If a child will be placed in danger by parenting time, the judge may deny, restrict or impose supervision as a condition to parenting time. Again, any orders may be modified based on change of circumstances.
In certain circumstances, special considerations may be necessary. These include long distance parenting time, or exchanges that occur between parties who are over 180 miles apart, institutionalized or incarcerated parents, parents with certain medical issues, and third party placement.
Grandparent Custody and Visitation
Michigan law does not grant grandparents as many rights to custody or some other states. However, grandparents may be able to challenge this in court. In order to do so, the grandparents must provide evidence that neither parent is fit to take care of the child, and that parental custody would endanger the physical, mental, and/or emotional health of the child.
Grandparents in Michigan have the right to seek visitation under certain circumstances. These include:
- The grandparent(s) has been the child’s caregiver within the previous year.
- The child’s parents do not live together, and the child was born out of wedlock. The person claiming to be the father must have been declared as the legal father, and must be paying child support.
- The parents of the child intend to or already have separated or divorced.
- Someone other than the parents has legal custody of the child, except in cases where a step-parent has adopted the child.
If you are a grandparent in the Michigan area who is seeking to petition for child custody or child visitation, contact our divorce and family law firm in Grand Rapids today. We will be happy to schedule a consultation to discuss your circumstances and desired outcome.