Labre Law Office | Family Law & Criminal Defense Lawyer | Edwardsburg, MI

Parenting Time Disputes

LaBre Law Office will represent you in all facets of parenting time disputes with excellence as our standard.

Resolve Parenting Time Disputes with an Family Law Attorney in Edwardsburg, Michigan

Parenting is a challenging yet incredibly fulfilling responsibility. As parents ourselves, we recognize the urgency of upholding the best interests of your children.

Are you currently navigating a divorce with children? At LaBre Law Office, we understand the intense emotions and troubling uncertainties you may be experiencing in terms of child custody and visitation. We’re here to support you every step of the way, during and after the divorce.

A Parenting Plan Addresses Multiple Factors Affecting Parenting Time

With the help of a family law attorney, parenting plans are created during a divorce to outline child custody and visitation, and whether you and your ex-spouse will co-parent equally or otherwise. Parenting plans also delineate the following:

  • Responsibility given to each parent
  • Parental adaptability
  • Current living situation
  • Any prior domestic violence
  • Parental health
  • Special Needs

Parenting time disputes create complications and elicit intense emotions, particularly when determining time sharing and parenting plans. With a combined 43 years of experience, LaBre Law Office has the knowledge and skills to provide you with informed, empathic, and compassionate legal representation.

Understanding Time-Sharing and Seeking a Beneficial Parenting Time Arrangement

Problems with time sharing arise when one parent disagrees with the parenting plan. Such cases are fraught with complexities and heartache for parents already adjusting to the concept of sharing their children. An experienced family law attorney considers several factors when dealing with parenting time disputes, including:

  • Established Custodial Environment
    • The law says generally that custody arrangements for children should remain stable.
  • Best Interest of Children
    • A judge will decide custody and parenting time based on the child’s or children’s best interests.

Different Types of Child Custody in Michigan

Sole Legal Custody versus Joint Physical Custody

Michigan law recognizes two distinct types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Understanding these distinctions is crucial, because they carry important implications.

Physical Custody: The Place Your Child Calls Home

Physical custody refers to the living arrangement and daily care of your child, encompassing the responsibility for minor day-to-day choices.

Sole Physical Custody: In this arrangement, one parent assumes the role of primary caretaker, with the child primarily living with them, while the other parent usually has visitation rights with the child.

Joint Physical Custody: Here, both parents share the responsibility of physically caring for the child. Although it may not be an exact 50/50 split, in a joint physical custody arrangement, the child spends significant time with each parent.

Legal Custody Determines Which Parent Has the Authority to Decide Critical Factors Affecting a Child’s Life

Legal custody is a crucial factor in shaping a child’s future, granting the power to make important decisions regarding their education, health care, and religious upbringing.

Michigan laws offer two types of legal custody.

Sole Legal Custody: With sole legal custody, one parent has the exclusive right to make significant decisions about raising children.

Joint Legal Custody: With joint legal custody, both parents share the decision-making authority, requiring excellent communication and cooperation.

Michigan courts strive for arrangements that enable children to maintain solid relationships with both parents unless specific factors threaten the child’s well-being. Ultimately, courts decide based on the best interests of the children.

Common Causes of Parenting Time Disputes

Parenting time disputes often stem from various factors and can significantly impact the well-being of both parents and children involved. Below are some common causes of parenting time disputes:

  1. Lack of Communication: Poor communication between parents is a prevalent cause of parenting time disputes. When parents fail to effectively communicate about schedules, extracurricular activities, changes in plans, or important decisions relating to their children, misunderstandings and conflicts can arise.
  2. Disagreements over Schedules: Parents may have conflicting ideas about dividing parenting time. Arguments can occur when one parent feels they are not getting enough time with the children or when schedule changes are requested but not agreed upon.
  3. Relocation: If one parent plans to move a significant distance away, it can disrupt the existing parenting time arrangement. Disputes may arise when the non-relocating parent objects to the proposed move, as it may negatively impact emotional ties and the ability to maintain a consistent relationship with their children.
  4. Safety Concerns: Parenting time disputes can also arise when one parent has concerns about the safety of the children during the other parent’s scheduled time. Allegations of child neglect, child abuse, or substance abuse may lead to disagreements and the need for court intervention to determine appropriate parenting arrangements.
  5. Parental Alienation: Parental alienation occurs when one parent systematically undermines the child’s relationship with the other parent through manipulation, negative comments, or interference with scheduled parenting time. Parental alienation can create serious conflicts that can disrupt a child’s life and happiness.
  6. Non-compliance with Court Orders: In some cases, one parent may refuse to comply with court-ordered parenting time or withhold the child from the other parent. Such actions can lead to heated disputes and potential legal action to enforce the parenting time order.

When parenting time disputes arise, considering the best interests of the children is critical for parents when dealing with the opposing party, the other parent. Working with an experienced Michigan family lawyer can help you navigate these disputes effectively. A knowledgeable lawyer can explain your parental rights, negotiate on your behalf, and, if necessary, represent you in court to establish a fair and reasonable parenting time arrangement.

Options and Processes for Resolving Parenting Time Disputes

In Michigan, parents can utilize several methods to address and resolve parenting time disputes, including the following:

  1. Mediation: Mediation is a commonly used alternative dispute resolution process where parents work together with the assistance of a neutral third party, called a mediator, to reach an agreement. The mediator helps facilitate communication and assists parents with finding mutually acceptable solutions. For parents who want to maintain a cooperative co-parenting relationship, mediation can be particularly beneficial.
  2. MI-Resolve Family System: The MI-Resolve Family System is a program offered by the courts to support parents in addressing parenting time issues. It provides resources and guidance for parents to create new parenting time agreements, revise existing agreements, or develop a parenting time plan to make up missed time. The system strives to promote collaborative problem-solving and reduce the need for court intervention.
  3. Friend of the Court (FOC): The Friend of the Court office in Michigan assists parents in resolving parenting time disputes. They provide information, services, and resources to navigate the dispute resolution process, and may offer conciliation meetings, mediation, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution to help parents reach an agreement.
  4. Court Proceedings: In situations where parents cannot agree through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods, court proceedings may be necessary. This option involves filing a motion with the court requesting a resolution to the parenting time dispute. The court will then review the case, consider relevant factors, and make a decision based on the best interests of the child involved.

The specific processes and options for resolving parenting time disputes may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Consulting an experienced Michigan family lawyer can provide personalized guidance and support throughout the entire dispute resolution process.

Will Changes to a Parenting Time Arrangement Require Custody Modification?

In Michigan, parenting time and child custody are separate legal concepts. Parenting time refers to the specific periods of time each parent spends with their children, while child custody involves legal decision-making authority and where the children live physically.

Generally, changes to a parenting time arrangement may not necessarily require a formal child custody modification, if both parents agree to the changes and they do not significantly alter the existing custody arrangement or the best interests of the child. However, ensuring that any modifications serve the needs of the children and comply with the existing court order or agreement is crucial

On the other hand, if the proposed changes to the parenting time arrangement are substantial and impact the custody rights of either parent, a formal child custody modification may be necessary. It typically involves filing a motion with the court to request a modification of the existing child custody order. The court will then evaluate the requested changes and determine whether they uphold the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of the child.

Any modifications to child custody or parenting time should be documented and approved by the court for enforceability. Informal or undocumented changes to the parenting time arrangement can lead to disputes and potential legal issues in the future.

What Visitation Rights Do Grandparents Have Under a Parenting Plan?

Under specific circumstances, grandparents may also have the opportunity for visitation. If the parents are in the process of a divorce or already separated, or if one or both parents have passed away, grandparents can request grandparenting time.

However, while grandparents have a right to visitation, the law prioritizes parental rights. Therefore, the court does not allow grandparenting time to interfere with the parent-child relationship.

In the Parenting Time Order, the court outlines the details of the parenting plan schedule (including weekends, holidays, and school breaks), encouraging frequent and continuing contact between parents and children.

Dealing with Parenting Time Disputes? Our Family Law Attorneys at LaBre Law Office Can Help

Is your former spouse creating parenting time disputes? Wondering if you need a child custody lawyer to reach a parenting agreement that everyone involved can agree upon? With more than 43 years of combined experience in family law, we’re prepared to assist you in all aspects of parenting time disputes. Contact the LaBre Law Office at (269) 431-2058 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation.

At LaBre Law Office, excellence is our standard.

Contact Us

Every situation is different and requires personalized legal strategy and attention. Tell us about your current situation and we would be happy to discuss your legal options. We have the skills, experience and resources needed to provide you with compassionate legal service.

Contact Form

* Required Fields

We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your question or to schedule an Appointment if requested.

Schedule A Consultation

Why Choose LaBre Law Office?

Our clients in the Michiana area have confidence when LaBre Law Office handles their legal issues because our general practice law firm has established a record as a trusted member of the community for over four decades, serving our neighbors:

  • Caring, aggressive advocacy for your interests in many practice areas
  • We represent clients in both Michigan and Indiana
  • Straightforward, assertive, and dependable guidance
  • Unique legal strategies tailored to each specific case
  • We fully address your concerns so you always understand your case’s status
  • We will be here for you long after your legal issue is resolved

Excellence is our standard. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Dedicated To Client Satisfaction

What they say about us

Our Blogs

Recent Blogs & News

View More Blogs & News

Please Enter Your Number For Callback

Request Callback
Skip to content