Because it is generally in the child's best interest to have a strong, meaningful relationship with each parent, the noncustodial parent will usually have a right to parenting time. The Michigan Parenting Time Guideline is an informative document to assist parents in crafting their own parenting time schedule. Individual counties may also have their own parenting time guidelines. If there are extenuating circumstances such as drug or alcohol problems, supervised parenting time might be required for the parent with the problem.
In situations where the parents cannot agree on a parenting time schedule, the courts will look to the Michigan Child Custody Act which sets forth certain factors that must be considered for best interest of the children. Generally, parenting time disputes are initially referred to the Friend of the Court for investigation and recommendation. The Friend of the Court recommendation is not binding and the parents have the right to be heard by the court on any objections to the recommendation.
FACTORS USED BY MICHIGAN COURTS FOR CUSTODY
The best interests of the child factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the Court are as follows: