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Ninth Judicial Circuit Court

FRIEND OF THE COURT HANDBOOK - PARENTING TIME ORDERS

A parenting time order establishes parenting time between a parent and child. The Child Custody Act (M.C.L. 722.27A) requires that parenting time be granted to serve the best interests of the child. If the parents agree on parenting time terms, the court must order and approve the parenting time agreement unless the court determines on the record that agreement is not in the best interest of the child. A child has a right to parenting time with a parent unless it is shown on the record by clear and convincing evidence that the parenting time would endanger the child's physical, mental or emotional health. When a child resides with a parent, that parent decides all routine matters concerning that child.

The Michigan Child Custody Act states that the Judge may consider the following factors when determining the frequency, duration and type of parenting time granted:

  1. The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child.

  2. Whether the child is a nursing child less than six months old, or less than 1 year old if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing.

  3. The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child during parenting time.

  4. The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise of parenting time.

  5. The inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on the child of traveling to and from parenting time.

  6. Whether a parent can reasonably expect to exercise parenting time as ordered by the court.

  7. Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise parenting time as ordered by the court.

  8. The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to conceal the child from the person who has legal custody of the child. A custodial parent's temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence of the custodial parent's intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent.

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