MCL 552.511b(1) A custody or parenting
time order violation means “an individual’s act
or failure to act that interferes with a parent’s right
to interact with his or her child in the time, place, and
manner established in the order that governs custody or parenting
time between the parent and the child and to which the individual
accused of interfering is subject.”
Oceana County Friend of the Court encourages
parents that are separated or divorced to co-parent their
children in such a manner as to bring about acceptable resolutions
to parenting time disputes.
In those instances where a parenting time
dispute exists, the Friend of the Court office must do one
or more of the following in response to an alleged custody
or parenting time violation:
A. Clients are asked to submit a written Parenting Time complaint
within 7 days of the alleged violation. An alleged custody
or parenting time violation that occurred more than 56 days
before the complaint was submitted may be declined by the
B. A copy of the written complaint is sent
to the other party with a response required within 21 days
for violation of court ordered parenting time.
C. After the complaint and response are
received the Friend of the Court must do one or more of the
1. Apply a make-up Parenting Time policy
2. Determine if a client should file a petition with the Court.
3. Refer selected Parenting Time disputes to the community
dispute resolution center for mediation.
4. Commence civil contempt proceedings ( an Order to Show
Cause for Alleged Violation of Custody/Parenting Time)
The parent having custody cannot
withhold parenting time due to non-payment of support. The
payor of child support cannot withhold payment due to denial
of parenting time!
Mediation and Restoritive Services
27 East Clay Avenue
Muskegon, Michigan 49442
Mediation allows both clients to present their concerns without
the formality of the court’s direct involvement. Mediation
is, however, an order to participate from the judge in the
client’s case. In the event a custody/parenting time
dispute remains without resolution the Friend of the Court
may request of the Court a referral to the community dispute
Those individuals entitled to Friend of
the Court services will be referred for mediation to Mediation
and Restoritive Services Center per order of the Court.
The Friend of the Court will send the parties
an order of the Court that their dispute has been referred
to the Mediation and Restoritive Services Center.
The Mediation and Restoritive Services
Center will notify the parties of the date, time and location
of the mediation session.
After mediation the Mediation and Restoritive
Services Center will notify the Court if the mediation was
or was not successful.
At what age may a child decide which parent
they may reside with?
Children cannot legally choose where to
live until they have reached the age of 18 or are determined
to be emancipated.
May I file for Grandparenting time?
Under the new law, grandparents may seek
an order for grandparenting time only in certain circumstances:
* Where an action for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment
is pending or finalized.
* Where the child’s
parent who is a child of the grandparents is deceased.
*Where paternity has been established
in cases where parents are not married.
*Where someone other than the child’s
parent has legal custody.
*Where the grandparent has provided an
established custodial environment for the child within the
What if I want to move out of State with
my minor child(ren)?
If you are the custodial parent and desire
to move out of the State of MI or over 100 miles, with your
children you must petition the Court for permission to reside
with the children in another state. You may file a "Change
of Domicile" petition with Circuit Court. There is no
reason to file a petition if you are the non-custodial parent.
What if I want to change my parenting time
Custody and parenting time changes occur
in the life of many cases. At such times, either party may
file a parenting time or custody petition with the Court to
review the circumstances of a request for a change or modification
of the current order. Or both parties may file a stipulation
Provided that both parties are in complete
agreement, an order may be modified if the Friend of the Court
receives a written statement signed and dated by both parties
that include the reason for the change in custody or parenting
time and the date the change in custody or parenting time
will begin. Phone numbers of the parties must be included
so the Friend of the Court may contact each client separately
for questions regarding the agreement. Thereafter, the Friend
of the Court incorporates this agreement into the form of
an order and provides the document to the presiding judge
for approval and signature.
The non-custodial parent will not see the
children, what can I do?
Parenting time is considered a privilege
to enhance and sustain the parent-child relationship. If the
non-custodial parent chooses not to exercise parenting time
the Friend of the Court cannot enforce any action on this
parent. The custodial parent may consider encouraging dialog
with the non-custodial parent about the issue. Or, filing
a parenting time petition to change the current parenting
time order is another choice.
My work schedule makes it difficult to continue
with the current parenting time arrangement, what can I do?
Often, one or both parents in a family
must work. Just as often, work schedules and jobs can change.
If both parties, in a case, are able to be in complete agreement
as to how a parenting time schedule can better meet the needs
of parents and the minor children then they may provide the
Friend of the Court with a written statement that is signed
and dated by both parties with their phone numbers. If there
is a dispute regarding the change in parenting time one of
the parties must file a Parenting Time petition with the Court.
What if I need to speak to someone about
my parenting time issues?
You may contact the Oceana County FOC
Parenting Time Advocate by telephone or schedule an appointment
to meet with this staff member in person. At the conclusion
of the meeting you may still be asked to put your concerns
When I file a petition or come to Court
do I need an attorney?
When any client files a Pro Per petition
that client does not have to hire an attorney. However, each
person has the right to an attorney in any Court proceedings.
The Friend of the Court staff cannot suggest any particular
attorney for personal representation of a client in any court