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            The legislature in Michigan recognized that the best interests of children living within the state who are affected by either the divorce or separation of their parents is best served by having and preserving a strong relationship with both parents. Children have a right to parenting time with both parents unless the court determines on the record by clear and convincing evidence that exercising parenting time with one parent would endanger the children’s physical, mental or emotional health (MCL 722.27a). Parenting time includes weekday dinners, weekends, and holidays.

            Holiday parenting time is the time that a parent spends with the children during a specified holiday, such as the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Holiday parenting time will take precedence over regularly scheduled parenting time. This may result in one parent have two or three weekends in a row with the children because of the holiday day parenting time schedule. The standard holidays observed across the state as part of holiday parenting time include Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Winter) Break, and Spring Break.

            Each county will have a standard holiday parenting time that county Friend of the Court office will use. However, parents should be work together and create a holiday parenting time schedule that maintains the family traditions that the children have grown up with. Some parties will include Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the children’s birthdays, religious holidays, other extended school breaks, and Halloween in their parenting time agreements. Holidays are rotated on an annual basis with extended school breaks such as Christmas break and summer break being equally divided by the parties.       Many of the Friend of the Court office across the state have published their standard parenting time schedules online. Wayne County even breaks parenting time down by age.

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            The best parenting time schedule for children of any age is one that considers the child’s age, extracurricular activities or anticipated extracurricular activities, the distance between the parties’ home, the parties’ work schedules, and the observed holidays of the family. By agreeing during your divorce or custody proceeding on a parenting time schedule that includes the celebrated holidays for your family the joy of the holiday will continue after the judgment has entered.

            We know how important it is for children to experience holidays with only the joy, awe and wonder that a child has. We educate our clients how to preserve this childhood excitement for holidays as the family structure is redefined.  Our firm’s unique approach to redefining family can help you find a holiday parenting time schedule that serves your child best interests and promotes a strong healthy relationship with the other parent. Call us today to see how we can help you redefine family.

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