Michigan Parenting Time & Holiday Visitation Schedule

There is often a lot of confusion around a parenting time holiday schedule. Basically, which legal parent has visitation rights on which holiday. This confusion is understandable as not every divorce case is straight forward; these laws can be highly complex.

In this article, we will cover the topic of parenting time. Specifically for holiday visitation rights in the State of Michigan.

Michigan’s Laws on Parenting Time

In Michigan, parenting time will be granted to a parent as frequency, prolonged and type reasonable to promote a strong relationship between the child and parent who is granted parenting time. This might mean certain weekends, holidays, certain extended vacations; courts and parties can get creative in determining parenting time.

Parties are free to come to an agreement on their own about parenting time which are subject to the court’s review of the best interest of the child or a court may determine the parenting time.

The best interest of the child is defined within Michigan’s Child Custody Act of 1970. According to this law:

“AN ACT to declare the inherent rights of minor children; to establish rights and duties to their custody, support, and parenting time in disputed actions; to establish rights and duties to provide support for a child after the child reaches the age of majority under certain circumstances; to provide for certain procedure and appeals; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts.” (Michigan Legislature, CHILD CUSTODY ACT OF 1970 Act 91 of 1970).

Most judgments of divorce, or other judgments that deal with minor children and parenting time, set forth a holiday parenting time schedule. Some judgments set forth this schedule with more clarity and particularity than others. Unfortunately, when you have a judgment that is very vague regarding holiday parenting time, it’s difficult to discern exactly who gets what holiday, especially when the language simply states, “the parties shall alternate holidays.”

Michigan paternity legal forms titled Affidavit of Parentage

Parenting Time Holiday Schedule Disagreements

If you and your ex are unable to agree upon a holiday parenting time schedule, you may need to file a motion in the court where your judgment was entered in order to seek clarity or to determine a specific holiday parenting time schedule that best accommodates your family. Memorializing a specific holiday parenting time schedule in a subsequent order as soon as possible will ensure that you and your ex don’t have any confusion in this regard moving forward, which will allow each of you to better plan for these holidays in the future.

The motion used to file a parenting time dispute in Michigan is called a “motion regarding parenting time.” These motions are filed within local county courts. As discussed, this motion needs to be filed within the court which your original judgement was granted. Here’s an example of a Michigan Motion Regarding Parenting Time.

The family law attorneys at Kelly & Kelly, P.C. are experienced in dealing with holiday parenting time issues, and are happy to help you navigate a solution.