Parenting Time

Parenting Time Modifications
The current order (signed by the Judge) will remain in effect until a new order is prepared and signed by the Judge. When there is an objection period, the Judge won’t sign a new order until the objection period is over and no one objected to the order. If an objection is filed, a hearing date will be set and a new order will be prepared, based on that hearing.

Changing parenting time is not an emergency process. If you believe it is an emergency, you may want to contact an attorney or explore other resources.  The Friend of the Court cannot prepare Ex-Parte orders or change an order without the parties’ consent.

If you do not have a case with FOC and you are seeking an order to change, you may wish to use the following resources to open a new case:

Once an order has been entered (signed by the judge) either party can change the order by:
Agreement (Consent):
If the parties agree to change the parenting time order.

  • Submit a written agreement to the FOC, signed and dated by both parties.
  • Hire an attorney to prepare a “consent” order for judicial review and signature.
File a Motion:  If the parties can’t agree, a motion must be filed. There are several ways to do this.

  • Utilize FOC forms and process:
    1.  Attend  FOC Orientation (2022 Schedule \ Zoom Call Instructions). The person who wishes to file a parenting time motion must attend orientation once during the life of their case. Then, follow the steps below.
    2.  Write a brief letter to the other party, letting him/her know of the changes you want made. Sign and date the letter.
    3.  Make two copies of the letter: one for FOC and one for your records.
    4.  Mail or personally give the letter to the other party.
    5.  Provide FOC a copy of the letter and a written request to the FOC for a parenting time packet.
  • Utilize your own resources such as, www.MichiganLegalHelp.org.
  • Hire an attorney to file the motion on your behalf.

These nine factors will be considered when determining the best interest of the child for parenting time. As children grow and situations change, the court order may need modification to meet the changing needs of the child.

Denial of Parenting Time
The FOC can only enforce written orders of the Court (verbal agreements cannot be enforced).  The order needs to state specific parenting time and it must be clear that a denial has taken place. 

  • The FOC considers three things before processing a denial of parenting time:
  • Is there a specific parenting time order?
  • Is there verification that the denied party physically attempted to pick up the child from the other parent?
  • Was the complaint made within 56 days in writing to the Friend of the Court?
  • This process starts when a written complaint is received from one of the parties stating specific facts that show a violation of a parenting time order. The written complaint must state specific dates that parenting time was denied. The alleged violations must have occurred no more than 56 days before the written complaint was made.
  • The FOC will verify if the alleged denial qualifies for enforcement and send out a 21 day notice to both parties. 
  • The 21 day notice is an opportunity for both parties to respond to the alleged denial as follows:
  • Reach an agreement for make-up parenting time. A signed written agreement should be mailed to our office. 
  • If unable to reach an agreement for make-up parenting time, request for show cause must be returned to the FOC. The FOC will schedule the show cause hearing before the Referee. The Friend of the Court Representative does not represent either party and is not present for the show cause hearing. At the show cause hearing, the burden is on the person alleging the violation to prove that the denial occurred. All notices, letters, documentation, testimony or evidence should be taken to the hearing.  You will be responsible for providing this information to the referee. The Referee will make a determination if parenting time was wrongfully denied and if any sanctions or make-up parenting time shall be ordered.  For more information, please see the General Instructions for Enforcement of Parenting Time link.