Experienced Counsel
Tailored Solutions

How are special considerations addressed with parenting time?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | Child Custody

Michigan parents who are trying to come to a workable agreement for parenting time as part of their family law case will want a schedule that is specifically tailored to the situation. That includes adhering to the child’s needs and adapting to the parents’ unique circumstances. In cases where there are special considerations that need to be addressed, the parents will want to know how the court goes about making its determinations.

Among the factors that might arise and warrant a parenting time schedule that is flexible and adapts based on needs are extracurricular activities; a child with special needs; the parents’ schedule and abilities; how the child relates to each parent; and the distance between the parents’ homes. A well-organized plan will look at these factors and strive to forge solutions that work for everyone and, most importantly, serve the child’s best interests.

Crafting a parenting plan based on different factors and needs

Kids of all ages up until they reach 18 will have a litany of activities they will take part in. Some play sports, some are in the performing arts and others are in various clubs. Regardless of their interests and what the parents want, this can take up a lot of time and result in complicated scheduling overlaps. Parents must be prepared for this and put their own differences aside to help the child.

If a parent has a work schedule that does not let them have extra time off to accommodate the child’s extracurricular schedule, perhaps it will be possible to give the other parent the time with the child so they can attend the events and have their time with the child that way.

There may also be disputes as to what the child will do and when. One parent may not want their child to play a contact sport like football while the other is fine with it. This must be worked out as part of the negotiation process. To avoid rancor and dispute, the parents are advised to work cohesively, share scheduling and be flexible.

Special needs children require greater attention and parental disagreements generally do not help them at all. The child could have a mental disability, a physical disability or a learning disability. There are many reasons why a child will have special needs. The parents must put aside any lingering ill will between them to suit the child. If that means paying for special schooling and equipment, changing the times when they will have the child and assess living arrangements, then this is what they must do.

Decision-making responsibility is essential with special needs children and parents must be aware of how that works. The court order can specify which parent will be overseeing the child at certain junctures and whether they must work in collaboration on important decisions. Medical and school information will need to be accessible and shared.

Scheduling parenting time in unique cases may require professional advice

Family law can be a complex issue and that is especially true when there are individual factors that need to be dealt with as part of the case. This does not necessarily mean the parents are experiencing tension and are battling over the outcome, but they want to have a plan that suits them and the child.

For these cases and any other aspect of child custody and parenting time, it is imperative to have professional help. Those who have extensive experience in state law, have seen a wide variety of disputes and have helped to forge positive outcomes, which can be of immense value in any family law situation.

If the foundation is in place to forge an agreement between the parents without going to court, that may be an avenue to pursue. If the case does need to go to court, having representation with courtroom skill is also key. For assistance in any parenting time case—especially those with unusual concerns—calling for experienced guidance is a useful strategy.