How is parenting time determined?
Under Michigan law, the following factors are evaluated in the determination of parenting time:
- The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child;
- Whether the child (less or greater than 6 months of age) is a nursing child and receives substantial nutrition through nursing;
- The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of a child during parenting time;
- The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise a parenting time;
- The inconvenience and burdensome impact or the effect on the child traveling for purposes of parenting time;
- Whether the parent can reasonably be expected to exercise parenting time in accordance with the court order;
- If the parent has frequently failed to exercise reasonable parenting time;
- The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent or from a third person who has legal custody. The custodial parent’s temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence with the custodial parent’s intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent; and
- Any other relevant factors.
There are not standard schedules, but courts are generally child focused and will not order a parenting schedule that is contrary to the court’s perception of the child’s best interest.
How is child custody determined?
Both natural (or adoptive) parents have an obligation to support their children. Support means a payment of money for the support of a child, including payment of medical, dental, and other healthcare expenses, child care expenses and educational expenses.
Child support is based upon the Michigan Child Support Formula and is usually calculated using computer software. The important factors for calculating child support are the incomes of the parties, the number of overnights each of them have with their child or children, amount of daycare paid by either or both, and the cost of healthcare insurance. Child support, under the Formula, is mandatory, although a court may enter a support order the deviates from the Formula if an application of the Formula will be unjust or inappropriate. Child support usually ends when a child graduates from high school or turns 18, whichever is later, but the court may order support for a child between the ages of 18 and 19 ½ if the child is regularly attending high school full time with a reasonable expectation of graduating and is living full-time with the support payee or at an institution.
Child support is paid through the use of a Uniform Child Support Order (UCSO).