Parenting time is the right of a child or children to spend specified time with each parent. In some cases, parenting time may also be granted to people other than parents.
Some court orders provide for “Reasonable Rights of Parenting Time”. This allows the parents the flexibility of working out schedules as they might agree. However, if there is disagreement by the parents as to the actual intent of “Reasonable Rights of Parenting Time”, then the parents need to refer to the minimum definition of this schedule as provided in the Friend of the Court Parenting Time Handbook
Parenting time is typically designated in court orders after all aspects of a case have been reviewed. Consideration is given to the age, maturity and needs of the child, length of time between parenting times, relationship between the child and the parent, physical distance between the parties, and any other relevant issues. In the event of conflicts with the parenting time schedule, it will be necessary to inform the Friend of the Court of the dispute, in writing.
The Friend of the Court has the statutory responsibility to enforce court orders regarding parenting time. The family court strongly believes that it is important for the child or children to have a good relationship with both parents.
Parenting Time Enforcement
If a party is denied parenting time as specified in their court order, it is the responsibility of the parent who was denied the parenting time to file a complaint with the Friend of the Court. Parenting Time Complaints must be submitted within 56 days of the alleged violation.
Click Here to access a Parenting Time Complaint Form.
To obtain a list of all enforceable and non-enforceable parenting time provisions, Click Here.
The Friend of the Court commences enforcement of parenting time by sending a copy of the complaint to the accused party within 14 days after the FOC office receives the complaint. If the complaint is found to be a valid complaint, the FOC may; suggest "makeup" parenting time, schedule the parties for mediation, initiate a Show Cause Hearing for Contempt, file a motion to modify existing parenting time, or schedule a joint meeting with the parties. If the complaint is found to be invalid, correspondence will be sent to the complaining party as to why the complaint was not enforceable, and what the party's options may be.
Neither parent has the right to stop paying child support because
parenting time is being denied. Conversely, neither parent has the right
to withhold parenting time because child support is not being paid.
Modifying a Parenting Time Order
Parenting Time orders should accurately reflect the parenting time arrangement between the parties. Either party can take action to modify the parenting time provisions should the need arise. Below are 3 ways you can go about modifying your parenting time order.
Agreement Between the Parents
If you and the other parent agree that a change in your parenting time order is necessary, the Friend of the Court can offer mediation services to allow you the opportunity to meet and develop a new parenting time order.
Please review the Parenting Time Consent Procedure to learn more.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to change your parenting time order, please fill out a Parenting Time Consent Agreement and submit the completed form to our office.
If you and the other party agree that changes need to be made to your parenting time order, or would like an opportunity to meet with a neutral 3rd party to discuss ongoing issues regarding your parenting time, parties can request mediation. Mediation is an opportunity for parties to meet with a nuetral 3rd party in an effort to resolve conflicts regarding parenting time. Mediation is confidential as outlined by law. If parties are able to reach an agreement, the mediator will prepare an order based on the agreement which can be submitted to the court. For more information, please see our Mediation Page.
To Request Parenting Time Mediation
Filing a Motion
If you and the other parent are not in agreement to a change in your parenting time order, either party may file a motion with the courts to request a change in parenting time. This can be done through the services of an attorney, or by filing a motion with the court. The Motion to Change Parenting Time is available at the Friend of the Court office, or the Court Clerk's office.
If you have any questions regarding your parenting time, please refer
to our Friend of the Court Parenting Time Handbook
to contact our office
This page originated on
September 13, 2010
and was last modified on
August 22, 2013