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Customize your child custody and parenting time plan

When you filed for divorce in a Michigan court, you understood that your decision would have a significant impact on your children. In most cases, family court judges agree that children fare best when their parents can work as a team and develop a plan that provides ample opportunity for the kids to spend time with both parents.  

There’s no singular plan or regulations that specify what your child custody or co-parenting agreement must be. Unless the court has deemed it necessary to restrict visitation, you and your ex can create your parenting time plan, then seek the court’s approval.  

Options that might fit your family’s needs and goals 

After you finalize your divorce, you likely won’t be seeing your ex as often. Depending on the status of your relationship, you might even feel that the less you see of each other, the better it is for everyone. While you and your ex may not want to spend time together, your children undoubtedly still want to be with each of you as much as possible. The following list provides examples of child custody and parenting time plans that may work well in your family:  

  • Children live with each parent for one week at a time. 
  • Parents transfer custody every two days, followed by a 3-day weekend with one parent. 
  • One parent has primary custody during the week, and the kids spend weekends with the co-parent. 
  • Children alternate between households every month.  

What works for one family may not be feasible for another. Your work schedule, the children’s school and extracurricular activities, or even the children’s personalities and needs may influence your decisions regarding which type of parenting time arrangement would be best.  

You must seek the court’s permission to change an agreed-upon plan 

One type of parenting time plan might work for a while, and then life changes might necessitate a change. For instance, if you start a new job, the schedule might not coincide well with your existing parenting time agreement. You and your ex must adhere to the terms of your current court order, however, unless and until you file a petition for modification and the court grants your request.  

Even if you and your ex both agree to a change, you may not implement a change unless the court has approved it and issued a modification. If your ex disregards a court order or is somehow impeding your ability to carry out your agreed-upon parenting time plan, you can bring the matter to the court’s attention. The court could hold a parent in contempt for disobeying a court order.