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Michigan Family Law Blog

Can I Get Equal Time With My Child During the Summer After a Divorce in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | May 23, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

Child custody, visitation (or parenting time as it is known in Michigan) and child support can be very contentious issues in divorce cases.  In general the courts in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties in Michigan have moved toward a model that provides for an equal amount of time with the children being awarded to each parent.  Of course there are always cases where one parent is not fit or otherwise simply not able to exercise equal parenting time, due to their work schedule or other issues.  There are also some cases where one parent believes that during the school year it is imperative that a child stay with that parent during the week (for whatever reason) and the other parent should have parenting time with the child on the weekends.  Sometimes the other parent will agree that this might be in the best interest of the child and sometimes they won't, sometimes the parents may agree that this works for the winter but not the summer or the judge may order that for the school year but not feel that it would be appropriate for the summer.  This blog is written to address the situation where there has been a decision that the child will spend the weekdays during the winter with one parent but there is no agreement about how the summer should be divided.  If you have questions about something that is happening in your life and would like some guidance, please do not hesitate to click this link or call us at (248) 608-4123.

Can I Get Equal Parenting Time During the Summer Even if I Don't During the Winter?

The simple answer is yes, it is a very common situation where the parents may exercise one parenting time schedule during the summer and another during the winter.  In fact, the Macomb County Parenting Time Manual indicates that regardless of the winter parenting time, summer parenting time should be exercised in a week on/week-off manner. That means that the child spends one week with one parent and then the other parent the next, often switching on Fridays after work.  The parents continue to alternate the weeks in this manner until school starts and then they revert to the other school-time parenting scheduling.

Another situation where this arises is where the parents live in different states or otherwise in very distant locations that make it difficult to exercise equal parenting time during the entire year.  In this situation, often the child will reside almost exclusively with one parent during the school year and attend school from that parent's residence.  Then the child will reside with the other parent during the entire summer and often some additional time during the winter and/or spring school breaks.  You should note that it is very important to establish the proper parenting time schedule that you want during the initial divorce or separation proceedings otherwise it can be much more difficult and time-consuming to alter the parenting time plan later. 

The above discussion only addresses a couple of different scenarios where hybrid parenting time schedules may be required.  There are many other ways to work out summer vs. winter parenting time, if you have questions about potential parenting time, custody or other issues related to divorce, please do not hesitate to click on this link or call us at (248) 608-4123 to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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