Shiawassee County FOC encourages parents to work together to make decisions about the custodial and parenting time arrangements for their children. Our office is committed to assisting parents make these decisions rather than imposing a “one size fits all” custody and parenting time plan.
When parents can’t agree on custody and parenting time arrangements for their children, it is the duty of the FOC office to make a recommendation to the court. Our office recognizes that parenting time plans should be customized based on the facts presented. Recommendations made to the court are based on what custody and parenting time arrangement will work best for the children and both parents. Parenting time schedules are developed with the following in mind:
- Every child has the right to spend time with both parents.
- It is the responsibility of both parents to promote a relationship with the other parent.
- Every child has the inherent right to the love, affection, and financial support of both parents.
Pursuant to MCL 722.27a(6), the court may consider the following factors when determining the frequency, duration, and type of parenting time to be granted:
(a) The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child.
(b) Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6-months of age, or less than 1-year of age if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing.
(c) The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child during parenting time.
(d) The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from exercise of parenting time.
(e) The inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on, the child traveling for parenting time.
(f) Whether a parent can reasonably expect to exercise parenting time in accordance with the court order.
(g) Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise reasonable parenting time.
(h) The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent or form a third person who has legal custody. A custodial parent’s temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence a custodial parent’s intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent.
Other factors the court may consider are:
- Special needs of the children and/or parents.
- Ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate with one another.
- Distance between the homes of the children.
- Children's commitment to community such as school events, work, or participation in other community activities.
- The children's cultural and religious practices.
- Parental fitness such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health issues.
- The parent's ability to meet the needs of the children.
- The parent's ability to care for the children.
This list is not all inclusive.
Attached is a copy of the current Standard Holiday Parenting Time Schedule the Shiawassee County Friend of the Court uses as a guideline. The schedule can be modified by the parties or the court.