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When Parents in Recovery Are Interested in Seeking a Parenting Time Modification in Michigan

 Posted on March 30, 2023 in Family Law

Novi Family Law AttorneyWhen a child’s parents decide to end their marriage or nonmarital romantic relationship in Michigan, the courts insist upon formalizing a child custody order. Co-parents are also generally required to construct and adhere to a parenting plan that will govern their shared parenting arrangements.

Although most parents who choose to remain active in their kids’ lives opt for a joint custody arrangement, some families benefit from a joint legal/sole physical or a sole custody order. If a non-custodial parent wishes to remain bonded with their child under these circumstances, they may be granted unsupervised or supervised parenting time, depending on whatever arrangement has been deemed in service of a child’s best interests.

Regardless of how a child’s custody order and parenting plan are structured, one or both of these legally-enforceable orders can be modified under certain circumstances.

When a Parent’s Substance Issues Influence Parenting Arrangements

If you struggle with substance abuse, that reality likely impacted how your original child custody order and/or parenting plan was structured. Had you been clean and/or sober, you may have been granted a far greater share of parenting time.

If you are now clean and/or sober, congratulations. You are taking steps that will benefit both your health and your child’s well-being. As a result of your recovery efforts, you may also now be in a better place to assume more parenting time. Or, perhaps you are hoping to assume greater responsibility but you are not quite in a position to do so yet.

Being Thoughtful About Your Options

If you and your child’s other parent mutually agree that it would be in your child’s best interests for you to have a greater share of parenting time, you can work with an attorney to formalize this decision. If your child’s other parent is resistant to the idea of a modification, you will need to be thoughtful about when you request that the court grant you an adjustment.

The court is bound to honor your child’s best interests, not yours. As a result, if you are very new to your recovery journey, the court may insist that you take some more time to heal and to work on your sobriety before assuming greater responsibility for your child. On the other hand, if your recovery is strong and your co-parent is simply concerned, it may be worth fighting your corner in court.

Connect with an Oakland County Child Custody Attorney to Learn More

If your parental rights remain intact, the law has determined that you deserve the opportunity to have a relationship with your child. It is simply important to remember that every family law case that affects children is supposed to be resolved primarily in their best interests. If you genuinely believe that you are ready to assume the responsibility of more time with your kids, you can start the process of modifying your parenting plan via negotiations, mediation, or litigation. If you are not yet ready but you hope to be ready to modify your plan soon, you can always reach out to our team proactively to better ensure that you are properly prepared for that moment in time when it arrives.

Regardless of whether your modification process is likely to be contentious or amicable, the dedicated Farmington Hills, MI child custody lawyers at Elkouri Heath, PLC are available to assist you with your legal needs. You can contact us any time by calling 248-344-9700 or by submitting a contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you. 




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