As the parent of a minor child that does not live with you after a divorce, you want the time you spend together to be enjoyable and productive. Michigan law does establish your right to parenting time, but the statute doesn’t provide much additional guidance on how you should go about making the experience a positive one. The goal of parenting time is to help you maintain a healthy relationship with your child, and the best way to achieve it is by proper planning and communication. A parenting time lawyer with experience in Michigan law can assist you with the legal aspects involved, but you may also find it useful to review a few tips on how to make the most of the occasion.
- A Meeting of the Minds on the Schedule: Depending on their ages, it’s important to discuss and make sure children understand the details of your parenting time schedule. Whether it’s a regular weekly visit, a holiday, or vacation, communicate the times and dates with children. It may take time to settle into the transition between two homes, but a written schedule provides structure and helps make children feel equally comfortable in both spaces.
- Advance Planning: Once they’re aware of the parenting time schedule, children will develop expectations about their parenting time with you. Therefore, it’s critical to arrange all the necessary logistics to maintain the routine. Figure out all transportation details in advance, communicate with the child’s other parent, and always show up when and where you promise. In the event of unexpected circumstances, do your best to adjust.
- Get Rid of Brain Clutter: The majority of your parenting time should be dedicated to your relationship with your children, so clear your mind of distractions that may interrupt the experience. Arrange fun activities to engage them, but allow time to oversee school work and other obligations. Finish up your own tasks and projects in advance so your child isn’t forced to spend precious parenting time watching you work.
- Communicate in Between Visits: Even when your in-person parenting time is over, you need to continue with relationship-building by communicating in between parenting time. Today’s technology provides you with several options for virtual parenting time. Use video chat, emails, text messages, or just pick up the phone and dial.
Discuss Parenting Time with a Qualified Michigan Divorce Attorney
You can make the most out of parenting time with your child when you plan ahead, understand expectations, and communicate with each other between visits. With the right foundation and logistics in place, you can clear your head of nagging details and put the focus of parenting time where it should be: Building and maintaining a strong relationship with your child. If there are any legal snags along the way, an experienced parenting time lawyer can advise you on your options under Michigan law. For more information on establishing a parenting time arrangement that works for your entire family, please contact attorney Michael A. Robbins. We’re happy to answer your questions or schedule a consultation at our Bloomfield Hills, MI office.