In the state of Michigan, a parenting time schedule is different than a parenting plan.
If you and your spouse are facing divorce, you must submit a parenting time schedule as part of your settlement agreement. What should you include in this document?
Schedule versus plan
Unlike a parenting plan, a parenting time schedule is a court order containing details about the physical custody of your child. A parenting plan provides information about parental rules and, while it is not required, the state recommends that parents create such a plan to accompany the schedule.
About parenting time
Following a divorce, the majority of parenting time is “specific” because it follows a set schedule. The goal is to prevent confusion and establish a routine to enable children to feel more comfortable in the new two-home arrangement. In some instances where joint physical custody exists, the court permits “reasonable” parenting time. This allows parents to work out a schedule with built-in flexibility. A specific parenting routine popular with families is the 50/50 schedule, whereby children spend a week with one parent, then a week with the other. There are also uneven schedules that allow children to spend time with their parents in a 60/40, 70/30 or even 80/20 arrangement.
In both the specific and reasonable parenting time schedules, you must calculate and include the number of overnights your child will spend with you and the other parent. These two numbers must add up to 365 and will help to determine child support. You must also specify whether you and your spouse will share joint legal custody or if one of you will have sole custody. Include your plans for custody exchanges. Finally, include a statement prioritizing your child’s best interests.