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What factors are considered by the court in setting visitation?

When Detroit residents make difficult decisions, there are often many different considerations that have to be taken into effect. Parents may need to examine multiple factors, for example, when they are making major decisions in raising their children.

The same is true when courts are involved in making difficult decisions between parents in court. Last week, this blog discussed how parents have a right to have a relationship with their children. This is true not only for parents with custody over the child, but noncustodial parents who have visitation rights.

In determining the length, frequency and type of visitation a parent has with the child, there are multiple factors that will be considered by the court. Among these factors, the court will look at the needs of the child, including whether the child is an infant who is nursing. The court will also consider the burden on the child in traveling to and from parenting time.

As with other decisions involving parents and children, the court will also determine whether there is a likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child because of parenting time. If the parent has deprived the other parent from seeing the child, or threatened to do so, this may also be considered by the court.

The parent's failure to exercise parenting time may also play a role in the consideration of future parenting time. Likewise, the court will examine whether a parent can be expected to exercise parenting time following the order.

Finally, if there are any other factors that bear on a particular case, those factors may be considered by the court. Accordingly, Michigan law allows courts to consider a broad range of factors to determine what is best for the child in establishing parenting time with a noncustodial parent.

Source: Michigan Courts, "Michigan Parenting Time Guideline," accessed on Nov. 21, 2015

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