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How does distance affect the parenting plan?

When you and your child’s other parent are working on a parenting plan in Michigan, developing a schedule you can both live with may be difficult. The primary goal of the court is to ensure that each of you are able to spend quality time with your child. Living in the same town, the hardest part of joint physical custody may be deciding on a neutral location for pickup and drop-off times. However, if one of you plans to move more than 180 miles away, the Michigan parenting time guideline states that the parenting plan may change.

Before the court order, you and your child’s other parent should attempt to discuss how the distance will affect the schedule. The person who makes the move will be responsible for all or most of the costs of transportation, but the mode of travel may be a matter for discussion. It is typically determined to be better for your child if the parent who has less parenting time does not have to spend a large portion of that period on the road.  

Rather than dividing your child’s winter break in half, you may decide it is better to alternate the whole holiday as is usually done with the spring break. The six-week visit during the summer break would be constant and would not be divided by weekend or holiday visits. This information is provided for educational purposes only. Every situation is different, and other factors may apply to yours, so it should not be taken as legal counsel.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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