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Parenting Time

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Parenting Time

We understand that parenting time disputes aren’t just legal matters – they are deeply personal issues that impact your entire family’s well-being. That is exactly why we approach each matter with compassion, commitment, and expertise. We want to know your concerns and your goals, to effectively advocate for your children’s best interests.

A child has a right to parenting time with both parents, unless it endangers the child’s physical, mental or emotional health. Establishing a specific parenting time schedule provides you and your child with predictability and consistency. A divorce or separation involves change and oftentimes children crave this sort of consistency during the divorce journey. When you and your co-parent can work together, you are able to take into consideration school, extra-curricular activities, and work schedules to craft a parenting time schedule that fits your family’s unique needs. A specific parenting time schedule can also help set up a healthy co-parent relationship by supplying clear boundaries and set times for communication.

Parenting time requires a variety of considerations including frequency, duration, and type. Ideally, you and your co-parent can work together to keep the children’s best interests at the forefront. However, this is not always possible. Understandably, parenting time can be a challenging topic, especially if you both want more time with your children than you think your co-parent should have. The stage of development that your child is currently at can play an important role in determining what sort of parenting time schedule is appropriate. When parents are unable to come to an agreement on what the parenting time schedule should look like, there are alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes including mediation and collaborative practices that can help guide parents to a resolution.

Unfortunately, some parents are unfit to share parenting time with their children. If a parent is abusive, an alcoholic or addict, neglectful, or mentally ill, they may be unfit, and the other parent may be awarded sole physical or sole legal custody or a greater portion of the parenting time. If you find yourself in this situation, contact our office. Your child’s safety and well-being are a priority, and we are well equipped to help you advocate for your child’s well-being.

It is common for parents to believe that their children are old enough to decide for themselves where they want to spend their time. In the State of Michigan, a child cannot choose where they spend their time until the age of 18. Parents may take their child’s preferences into consideration when discussing the parenting time schedule; however, if they are unable to agree, the court will decide through an evidentiary hearing based on the best interest factors. The court may hear the child’s preference and may take it into consideration when deciding the optimal parenting time schedule. However, a child’s preference is but one of many factors upon which such decision is reached.

We know that each family is unique and there is no ‘one size fits all’ schedule that works best for all families. We will work with you to develop a parenting time schedule that best fits your child’s needs. Our advocacy skills allow us to negotiate such a parenting time schedule in a manner that helps minimize the stress on both you and your child. In doing so, our goal is to help you achieve some peace, boundaries, and consistency through establishing a parenting time schedule that works best for your family.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

“I recently went through an incredibly difficult divorce, and I am pleased to say that Wilson Kester provided invaluable assistance throughout the entire process. I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism, expertise, and dedication to achieving the best possible outcome for their clients."

— Former Client

“Shelley was compassionate and understanding through the whole process. She has an aptitude on how to read people and was very instrumental in helping me deal with my ex-husband effectively.”

— Former Client

“She is well respected in the professional community, which was evident in our court proceedings. Shelley and her staff made me feel extremely comfortable and I knew that my best interest was at heart.”

— Former Client

“My inquiries and concerns were always promptly and thoroughly addressed, even beyond regular business hours. Ms. Kester is extremely knowledgeable in the area of family law.”

— Former Client