(810) 227-1700 dgjlaw@yahoo.com

Brighton Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of David G. Johnson located in Brighton, Michigan

Challenges of Parenting Time

During his career, David Johnson has represented clients in highly contentious divorces and child custody cases. 

If you are involved in a divorce or child custody battle, you have much weighing on your mind. 

Get answers from Dave Johnson today!

Child Custody Issues

One of the most important things to parents as they prepare for a divorce is the well-being of their children. The impact of a divorce can be emotionally charged and very difficult part of separation or divorce.  Issues arise such as physical and legal custody and planning parenting time schedules. Often this is a point of contention. How these issues are addressed and resolved can have a large impact on both the life of the child and the amount of child support that must be paid. If you are thinking of getting a divorce, it is critical to consult with an attorney who is experienced to advise you of both your rights and responsibilities.

Legal custody involves the right of parents to make important decisions on behalf of their child. Issues of major significance involving a child’s health, education, and life can hinge on which parent has legal custody.

Why is Parenting Time Important?

A child deserves to have a good relationship with both parents. When parents do not live together, the child should have the opportunity to spend time with each parent.

What parenting time rights does a parent have?

State law entitles a parent to reasonable rights of parenting time to ensure that a child has frequent and continuing contact with the parent. However, parenting time can be limited, or even denied, if the child’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health would be seriously endangered by parenting time with a parent.

How does the court make its decision about parenting time?

If there is a dispute about parenting time, the court sometimes refers the parents to court mediation services. This process gives the parents an opportunity to reach an agreement regarding parenting time and related issues. However, if the parties are unable to agree on parenting time, the court must decide for them. Sometimes the court seeks professional advice to evaluate the family situation or offer an opinion about parenting time. When making its decision, the court will consider many factors, for example, the age and health of the child, the time each parent has available from work or other obligations, the distance between the parents’ homes, the child’s school schedule and the suitability of living conditions in each parent’s home.

What is supervised parenting time?

Sometimes, to prevent harm to a child’s health or emotional development, it is necessary for the court to order that a social service agency or a mental health professional be involved with a family to be sure parenting time (and even custody) orders are followed. In this situation, the court may order the agency or another party to supervise or oversee the parenting time periods. In some cases, the exchange of the child is supervised by a third party to diminish the conflict between the parents to which the child would be exposed without supervised exchanges.

If the parents cannot agree in connection with any or all of these issues at the beginning of the case, one or both parents may file a request with the court for temporary orders. Temporary orders are short-term decisions made by the judge which remain in effect until a final court order is entered in the case. The Preliminary Injunction is the first temporary order issued in a suit for dissolution. In addition, either party may file a petition for temporary orders for child related issues such as child custody, child support and parenting time. If no agreement is reached after proper request is made, a hearing must be requested and held before the court, including witness testimony and presentation of evidence.

The following are taken into consideration during child custody negotiations.

  • The child’s relationship with each parent.
  • The emotional capacity and physical capability of each parent.
  • The financial situation of each parent.
  • Child’s educational and emotional needs.
  • The child’s preference (depending on child’s age).

Temporary Parenting Agreements

The issue of temporary custody is normally not an issue in Livingston or surrounding counties. The exception would be when the child’s safety is involved or one parent asks to have a temporary custody hearing. Because most parties continue to live in the same household, the parents continue to care for children in the same manner that existed before the divorce process began.

If the parties are separated and cannot come to an agreement about where the child will live, then a Judge can grant a Temporary Parenting Hearing. Typically this is a short hearing in order to determine the temporary custodial situation.

any say that want an attorney that is “tough” or “aggressive”, and that will “fight” for them.  They often do not think about what that means. To me, being tough means finding out what my client wants, and not settling for less.

This does not necessarily involve attacking or destroying the opposite party. Often times, such an approach merely results in the parties hating each other, and lawyers making a lot of money. If I can get what my clients wants by being nice, then I will be nice. If I must take a case to trial, I will be prepared and put on the best case possible – even if it involves presenting facts that the opposite party finds offensive – so long as they are relevant and have a bearing on the case.

Dave never loses sight of the fact that in custody cases, the parties will still be dealing with each other, and their children will still love BOTH of their parents, long after I have moved on to other cases.  

“Calm, clear, and competent.  Those are the best words to describe attorney  David G. Johnson of  Brighton, Michigan.  I  was impressed with his to the  point ” methods,  and his staff was in tandem for communications and results.”

Bonnie T., Family Law Client


An experienced attorney representing clients in Business Law, Family Law, and Estate Planning in Livingston County since 1982.


8163 Grand River Rd., Brighton, MI 48114