Custody & Parenting Time
For general answers to common questions parents may have in determining custody and parenting time issues during the COVID-19 public health pandemic and Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID -19), please refer to the FAQs about Custody and Parenting Time During the COVID-19 Outbreak (PDF).
The complaint must be submitted in writing. You may use the Parenting Time Complaint Form (DOCX) or you may submit a complaint on an 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch size piece of paper, within 56 days of the alleged violation.
The complaint must include:
- Your case number
- Name, address and telephone number of the plaintiff and defendant
- Child(ren)'s name and date of birth
- Date(s) and time(s) of alleged violation(s)
- Specific problem being addressed
- Whether or not you attempted to pick up the child(ren)
- Whether or not you are requesting make-up parenting time
- If requesting make-up parenting time, proposed make-up dates
The complaint must have your signature, the date submitted, and be filed within 56 days of the alleged violation or the Friend of the Court may not respond. The Friend of the Court will only respond to a named party to the case.
Support and parenting time are two separate issues. One parent cannot withhold parenting time due to non-payment of support. Likewise, the payer of support cannot withhold payment of support due to denial of parenting time.
Child Protective Services (CPS)
The Friend of the Court does not have the authority to handle neglect and/or abuse complaints. Any complaint regarding neglect and/or abuse can be made to the Department of Human Services/ Child Protective Services at 855-444-3911.
If both parents agree that they want a change in their court order the Friend of the Court will assist them in developing an order that contains their agreement.
If parents recognize that they need assistance in resolving a custody and/or parenting time dispute, the Friend of the Court offers mediation services. If both parents agree, a referral will be made to a mediator who is trained to assist parents in resolving custody and/or parenting time disputes. Mediation is a way to resolve your conflicts without expensive and costly litigation. If mediation results in an agreement, there is an $80 order entry fee to enter your agreement as a court order.
If you want to request a change in the court order and mediation is not an option for you, the Friend of the Court will provide you with self-help forms that can be used to file a motion with the court. Please note that when picking these forms up in our office there is a $1 fee for most forms. These forms are available at no charge in the Forms section of this website.
Some limited funds are available to provide counseling services to Friend of the Court customers. Counseling may be appropriate for parents as well as a child. Ask your case manager for more information.
Parenting Time Calendars
The Friend of the Court office suggests that the parents meet at least once a year to review their parenting time schedule for the upcoming calendar year. The Friend of the Court office will assist parents in developing a parenting time calendar, if necessary, to assist the parents in determining the child(ren)'s parenting time with each parent, on an annual basis.
Grandparents that want to obtain a court order for visitation should consult an attorney of their choosing. The Friend of the Court does not have self-help forms for grandparents who are trying to establish a visitation order. The hearing to establish a visitation order is heard by the Judge. The FOC will initiate enforcement of written orders for grandparent visitation, once they are entered by the Court.
Pursuant to Public Act 600 of 2012 (MCL Section 722.27a, amended), neither parent shall exercise parenting time in a nation that is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, unless both parents provide the Court with written consent to allow parenting time in a nation that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention.
Please review the Friend of the Court Handbook (PDF) for other helpful information regarding custody and parenting time.