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February 11, 2020

Parenting time, which used to be called, visitation, is a determination by the Court or agreement by the parties as to where the children spend their time with each of the parents.  This type of arrangement can be anything the parents agree upon, which is in the best interest of the minor children, or a court will make a determination if the parties can’t agree.

As a matter of law, there is no favoritism to a mother over a father and no specific number of overnights awarded to either parent on a formula basis, this is done on a case by case basis, by the agreement of the parties or after a determination by the court, after some type of hearing or trial, before the Judge.

Parenting time can be anything from supervised by a parent or unrelated party, which can be very specific to something very loose in general, such as is agreed upon by the parties in the best interest of the minor children.

If there is concern as to the safety of the children, the court will order supervised parenting time, which can be done by a local agency or by a party agreed upon by the parties or appointed by the court for a specific period of time at a specific location.  Generally speaking, however, if there are not concerns as to the welfare of the children, regarding the behavior of either of the parties, parenting time will be either a particular number of days per week, alternating holidays and some uninterrupted time in the summer, but can be as much as one-half of the time for each of parents or as little as only several hours per week or not at all, if there are particular safety concerns.

Merrill Gordon is an Oakland County attorney with more than 35 years’ experience in divorce and family court proceedings along with all manners of civil actions. He is also a court-appointed mediator in Oakland and Wayne counties and has received an AV peer review rating, the highest available.

He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Thomas Cooley Law School.  He was admitted to State Bar of Michigan and all Michigan State and Federal Courts in 1981, and the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1985. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, Oakland Country Bar Association, American Bar Association and the Mediation Tribunal Association.

For a free initial consultation, contact Merrill Gordon at (248) 626-3000 or via email at

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Merrill Gordon is accessible to clients at his Farmington Hills office and is also available via phone or email to discuss your case any time of day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He also provides a free initial consultation and flexible payment options.