Parenting Time Enforcement
The Washtenaw County Friend of the Court provides enforcement services for custody and parenting time orders. The Friend of the Court initiates enforcement ONLY when it receives a written complaint stating specific facts which, if true, show(s) a violation of the custody or parenting time order. Additionally, the office cannot initiate enforcement action on parent/child issues such as haricuts, curfew, etc. Those issues, along with joint-legal custody provisions, must be resolved by parents on their own. If no mutual resolution is reached, these issues must be petitioned directly to the Court.
The Friend of the Court offers a Parenting Time Denial Complaint Form to assist in the filing of the Complaint. You can mail the Complaint to the Friend of the Court or submit it through email at the following address;
The Complaint must include the following*;
(1) Specific dates (and times) the parenting time violation occurred; and
(2) The date (and the name, if possible) of the specific parenting time order that is being violated. *The Friend of the Court may decline to respond to the alleged violation if this information is not provided.
The Friend of the Court office may decline to respond and/or dismiss a complaint if:
- The alleged violation occurred more than 56 days before the complaint is made; or,
- The court order does not include an “enforceable” parenting time provision or,
(3) The complaining party has made two or more similar complaints found by the court to be unwarranted and has failed to pay costs assessed in those actions.
If the Friend of the Court determines from the complaint that a violation may have occurred, the FOC will send a copy of the complaint to the other party within 14 days of when the office received the complaint. The other party is asked to respond to the enclosed complaint within 21 days.
If a timely response is filed, and the Friend of the Court finds that the court’s order has been violated, the FOC has the following options:
(1) Offer Mediation;
(2) Schedule a joint meeting with the parties;
(3) Apply the Makeup Parenting Time Policy;
(4) If it is determined that a change of circumstances has occurred that requires a change to the parenting time schedule in the best interests of the children, the matter may be referred for an Evaluation and Recommendation regarding Parenting Time. Any recommendation issued would become an Order of the Court if neither party objects within 21 days of issuance of said recommendation.
(5) Schedule a Civil Contempt Show Cause hearing so the parent who has allegedly violated the parenting time order has the opportunity to show the court why the court should not find that party in contempt of its order. If it is found that a party violated the court order without good cause, the Court/Friend of the Court can do any of the following;
- grant make-up time,
- place additional terms in the order,
- modify the parenting time order,
- order a fine of $100 or less and
- commit a party to jail.