Why details matter when making a Michigan parenting plan
By design, marriage is intended to be a once in a lifetime, cherished moment between two people that inspires decades of love and happiness. Unfortunately, the storybook romance and happily ever part doesn’t always work out and a couple eventually decides to divorce.
At first glance, ending a relationship seems straightforward. Try to agree on the important details and move on. But it’s almost never that easy, it takes a long time, and can involve overwhelming emotional strife. If children are involved, divorce can take on another level of duress.
Indeed, agreeing on parenting time and related custodial issues can be contentious at best and downright volatile other times. There was a time when Michigan laws directed courts to designate one parent as primary guardian and imparted specific visitation rules to the other parent. Thankfully for children’s sake, courts today strongly suggest parents work diligently in preparing a plan to equally divide time and activity in order to remain fully engaged in their children’s lives. To that end, parents must consider the many details involved and adapt them to fit their particular scenario.
It’s all in the Details
When it comes to developing a parenting plan, it is important to include as much detail as possible regarding how a child’s time is spent with her parents. Everything must be considered—weekday and weekend time, holidays, school breaks, birthdays, special school events, sports participation, and social outings.
While time sharing arrangements include a Michigan court order mandating a child’s living arrangements and allotted time for each parent, disputes regarding parenting time also require a parenting plan describing details of the plan.
Parenting Plan Details
A parenting plan must include all factors affecting a child’s well-being including the child’s age, relationship status with each parent, any special needs, and anything on the parents’ side that could present risk to the child, such as drug abuse.
When creating a parenting plan, include as much detail as possible regarding division of time, and focus on Michigan courts’ parenting time guidelines which specify some of the following:
- Reasonable notice when one parent cannot meet their time responsibilities.
- Childcare arrangements and communication regarding location and timing.
- Designated location for dropping off and picking up children for scheduled visits.
- Decide who is permitted to be present during visitations, such as other family members or grandparents.
- Responsibility of transportation for parent visits and how cost will be divided.
- Decide how each parent will communicate when making arrangements involving their children.
In all cases of parenting time, it is best if the parents can amicably work out details in the best interests of their child or children. Love, affection, and related emotional ties are highest priority and you are best equipped to make those decisions, rather than leave it up to the court. After a hearing, a judge will in effect decide the fate of your child’s daily life. Making a detailed plan beforehand ensures the best outcome.
For more information on coordinating a parenting plan, contact Gucciardo Law Firm at (248) 723-5190 or gucciardofamilylaw.com.
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