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How does parenting time differ from child custody?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2023 | Child Custody |

Most states have distinct rules regarding child custody issues during divorce. In Michigan, there is a distinction between parenting time and custody, and it is important for divorcing couples to understand the difference.

Because issues related to children are usually the most challenging during divorce, both parents must have a full understanding of what parenting time entails. This guide goes over the important details to help you make the right decisions.

Parenting time

Parenting time refers to a child’s specific schedule when it comes to spending time with each parent. In addition to being in the same physical location, parenting time also covers phone calls with a parent and child. Courts often encourage both parents to establish parenting time schedules with their children, except in situations involving abuse and neglect.

Child custody

There are two separate aspects of child custody. Legal custody relates to which parent can make decisions on behalf of the child, such as decisions related to schooling and medical care. On the other hand, physical custody refers to where the child lives. The court can decide to award sole or joint custody in both cases. With joint custody, parents would have equal say in major decisions, and the child would live in both residences.

Things to consider when it comes to parenting time

When it comes to sharing parenting time, parents must concentrate on the best interest of the child. That means developing consistent routines and being mindful of the other parent’s schedule. Parents should also enable the child to contact the other parent when spending parenting time with them via phone calls and other methods.

Parents must also be mindful of not speaking ill of each other in the presence of the child. Additionally, they must stick to the agreed-upon parenting time schedule to ensure a stress-free experience for all involved.