The Friend of the Court (FOC) will enforce parenting time as it is Ordered in the most current Court Order for parenting time. When parents follow parenting time as Ordered by the Court or agree on a schedule devised between them, everyone in the family benefits. Parents who can agree on parenting time find that even though the family no longer resides together, co-parenting is possible. Co-parenting provides consistency, structure and support the entire family can benefit from. The S.M.I.L.E. (Start Making It Liveable for Everyone) Program has valuable information about “Time Sharing”. Click this link for the entire S.M.I.L.E. Booklet.
As children grow older and the Court Ordered parenting time does not fit the family circumstances any longer and parents cannot agree on a suitable schedule, a motion can be filed with the 44th Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. The Friend of the Court Office can only enforce the Court’s most recent Court Order for parenting time.
Some Court Orders refer to the Livingston County Parenting Time Guidelines for Reasonable and Liberal Parenting time in the event the parties cannot agree.
In the event parties cannot agree on parenting time and the terms of the Court Order in place are not being followed, you can submit a Request for Parenting Time Assistance to the Friend of the Court. If you feel that you were denied Court Ordered parenting time, you must submit your allegations to the Friend of the Court in writing within 56 days from the date of denial using this Parenting Time Denial Complaint form.
It is important to be specific as to why you feel you were denied parenting time. Again, the Friend of the Court is only able to assist when parenting time that is Court Ordered is not adhered to. If the parties agree on a schedule that is not part of any Court Order, the FOC cannot assist you in the event of a denial.
When a completed Request for Parenting Time Assistance form is received, the FOC will send a notice to the other party detailing your allegations and may send a copy of the completed Request for Parenting Time Assistance Form. The other party will have 21 days to respond to the FOC notice. Generally, if the FOC finds that parenting time was wrongfully denied, the Make-Up Parenting Time Policy will be applied.
The FOC may require makeup parenting time when the FOC determines that parenting time has wrongly been denied.
Makeup Parenting Time Policy
The 44th Circuit Court Bench strongly believes that it is important for a child to have a good relationship with both parents and has, therefore, adopted a Makeup Parenting Time Policy.
The Friend of the Court will apply this Makeup Parenting Time Policy in all cases where one parent has wrongfully denied parenting time to the other and the Friend of the Court determines that makeup parenting time is the appropriate method of enforcement. Court Orders, joint meetings, mediation, and contempt proceedings are alternative methods of enforcement available to the Friend of the Court.
Parenting time is every child’s right. Responsible parents will put differences aside and deal with each other in good faith to see that parenting time is encouraged. The following explanations by a parent for denying parenting time are generally not valid:
- The child(ren) has a minor illness.
- The child(ren) had to go somewhere else.
- The child(ren) was not home.
- The noncustodial party is behind in support.
- The custodial parent did not want the child(ren) to go.
- The weather was bad.
- The child(ren) had no clothes to wear.
- The child(ren) refused to go.
- The other party failed to meet preconditions unilaterally established by the party allegedly denying parenting time.
- Religious reasons.