Custody & Parenting Time FAQs
The other parent is not making child support payments required by court order. Do I have to allow parenting time?
Yes. You must continue to obey the order's parenting time provisions. You may request Friend of Court to enforce the child support provisions contained in the order.
Is the Friend of Court allowed to investigate child abuse or neglect?
While the Friend of Court does not have authority to investigate child abuse or neglect, by law, Friend of Court employees are mandated reporters. The Friend of Court will record and forward any allegations of abuse and/or neglect to the Protective Services unit of the Department of Human Services. You may also file your own confidential report with Protective Services without notification to the Friend of Court. The number is 855-444-3911.
I feel it is unsafe for my child to go with the other parent for parenting time. If I don't send my child, what will happen?
If you feel a child has been abused or neglected, contact Children's Protective Services right away at 1-855-444-3911. The FOC enforces court ordered parenting time. We cannot tell parties to violate the court order. If a parent is denied their court ordered parenting time, that parent may file a parenting time complaint with our office. Our enforcement department will review the complaint to determine if FOC can process it as enforceable. If the complaint is processed, the parent denying the parenting time will need to respond to the complaint as to why the parenting time was denied. Denial of court ordered parenting time may lead to makeup parenting time or a court hearing before a judge or referee.
At what age can a child decide where (s)he wants to live?
A child can decide where (s)he lives upon becoming an adult at age 18. Until then, the Court has jurisdiction.
How do I get the court's approval to move the children out of the state of Michigan?
Parents may agree to a change of residence(domicile) by signing an agreement(stipulation). The agreement is put in the form of an order and signed by the Judge which becomes an order of the court. If you and the other parent do not agree to the move, you may file a motion that asks the court to enter an order allowing you to move the children. Filing a motion or notifying the Friend of Court that you intend to move the children does NOT allow you to move the children. You must obtain a court order approving the move.
The other parent will not let me telephone my child. What can Friend of Court do?
Friend of Court can only enforce the written orders of the court. If your court order does not provide for telephone calls, try to negotiate an agreement with the other parent. You may also file a motion asking the court to modify the order to require that you be allowed to telephone your children.
My child does not want to spend time with the other parent. What can I do?
Parents must obey court orders regardless of the child's age and preferences. Each parent must try to promote a positive relationship between the child and the other parent.
The other parent refuses to see our children. What can I do?
The Friend of Court cannot force a parent to see his or her children. To promote a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, you may wish to consider counseling, mediation or filing a motion to change the parenting time order.
Does a holiday take priority over regularly scheduled parenting time?
Yes, unless your court order state differently.
The other party will not return my child and the police department referred me to FOC. How do I get my child back?
We cannot help you with the immediate return of your children. If an order for parenting time was violated, you can submit a parenting time complaint. If you want faster action, you may motion the court or contact your attorney. You can also visit Michigan Legal Help for more information.