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Departments » Friend of the Court » Parenting Time
FAQ

Parenting Time
1. Child support payments are not being made. Do I have to allow parenting time?

Yes. Parenting time and support are separate parts of a court order with separate enforcement procedures.

2. I am concerned that my child(ren) are being abused when with the other parent. What should I do?

Report your concerns to the Protective Services unit of the Family Independence Agency (Department of Social Services). You may also wish to provide, in writing, to your Friend of the Court Office a copy of your concerns so that they may be made a part of your file. The Friend of the Court Office, however, does not, by law, have the authority to investigate and remove children in abuse or neglect matters. This is done by the Protective Services through your local Probate Court.

3. I have a specific parenting time schedule that I would like to change. What can I do?

1) See if you and the other parent can agree to a change. This change, along with the reasons for the change, may be presented to the court as a proposed new court order of parenting time. An agreement between parties without court order is not enforceable.
2) The Friend of the Court will provide mediation, if both parents agree to participate.
3) File a petition with the court for a change in the order on you own, or contact an attorney.

4. I have asked to telephone my children at the other parent's home; (s)he says no. What can the Friend of the Court do?

The Friend of the Court enforces the written order of the court. If your court order does not provide for telephone calls, try to work it out with the other parent or through other means such as Friend of the Court mediation. If that is unsuccessful, you may file a petition with the court requesting telephone access.

5. It appears that the other parent has been drinking or using drugs. Do I have to let the children go?

That is your decision as a parent. If you violate the court order in such a situation, you may have to explain to the court, at a "show cause" hearing, why you felt your decision was in the best interests of the children.

6. My child does not want to engage in parenting time with the other parent. What can I do?

Parents are to obey court orders, regardless of the child's age. It is the parent's responsibility to promote a positive relationship with the child and the other parent. You may want to try the following options:
1) Work out a different arrangement with the other parent.
2) Contact the Friend of the Court and request mediation or seek counseling.
3) File a petition with the court asking for a change in your parenting time order.
4) Request the Friend of the Court provide enforcement of the parenting time order.

7. My order for parenting time states I have "reasonable visitation or parenting time". What does this mean?

As parents, you have a responsibilty to arrange a schedule of parenting time, which is reasonable based upon the best interest of the child(ren) and your family situation. If you cannot agree upon a "reasonable" schedule of parenting time, you have the following options:
1) See if the other parent will agree to mediation or counseling.
2) Ask the Friend of the Court to file a petition with the court to change your order to require a specific schedule.
3) File a petition on your own or contact an attorney.

8. The Friend of the Court will not help enforce my parenting time order. What can I do?

The law requires the Friend of the Court to provide enforcement services regarding parenting time orders. If you believe the Friend of the Court is not trying to enforce the order, you may file a grievance regarding their procedures. You may also file a petition for enforcement.

9. The other parent is not sending or returning clothing or other personal items for our child. Is there anything the Friend of the Court can do?

The Friend of the Court enforces the written order of the court. If your court order does not provide for clothing and/or other personal items, try to work it out with the other parent or through other means such as Friend of the Court mediation. If that is unsuccessful, you may file a petition with the court requesting clothing and/or other personal items.

10. The other parent refuses to see our children. What can the Friend of the Court do?

The Friend of the Court cannot force a parent to engage in parenting time with his/her children. It is the parent's duty to promote a positive relationship with the children and the other parent. Your options include: counseling, mediation, and filing a petition for change of the parenting time order.

11. The other party is not following the parenting time order. What can I do?

File a written complaint with the Friend of the Court. If the Friend of the Court believes the parenting time order has been violated, it shall start enforcement action.

Parenting Time
- General Information
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