Friend of Court > FAQs > Custody and Parenting Time FAQs

Custody and Parenting Time FAQs

Custody and Parenting Time FAQs for COVID-19

My child(ren) are out of school due to Governor Whitmer’s executive order. When does the summer parenting time schedule start?
The FOC will be enforcing summer parenting time schedules in accordance with the adopted 2019-2020 calendar issued by your child’s district prior to releasing the chiid(ren) from school under the executive order. You are free to agree to an alternative arrangement but it is recommended you get it in writing.

What options do I have if I want to modify my current parenting time schedule?
If subsequent changes in the school schedule make your parenting time schedule difficult or impractical, you may file a motion, you may reach an agreement with the other party to revise the parenting time schedule, or you may request alternative dispute resolution services. If filing a motion, your ability to secure a hearing date may be delayed due to staffing and safety limitations implemented during this state of emergency.

My child is turning 18. When will support end?
If your order has a date-certain when support will end, it will stop on that date. For children who are already 18, support will stop on the last day of the month when your child would have attended school full time according to your child’s 2019-2020 school calendar year.

I need to modify an order. What should I do?
First, attempt to work through the issue with the other parent to reach an agreement and place it in writing. If you need the assistance of a neutral third party to help you reach an agreement, we can offer you alternative dispute resolution services. These options are provided to you at no cost. If you cannot reach an agreement, or are unable to work through an issue through alternative dispute resolution, your issue may be scheduled for a referee hearing. Some matters may require you to file a motion and pay a filing fee. You will be informed if a filing fee is needed.

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. Failure to allow parenting time as ordered may result in enforcement action. 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?
No. FOC does not investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect. However, 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.

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 request mediation or 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 signed by the Judge 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 request mediation to assist you in resolving this issue. 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.