My parenting time order states I have "reasonable visitation rights or reasonable parenting time." What does this mean?

This means the parents have the responsibility for setting up a mutually agreed upon schedule for parenting time, which is reasonable under the circumstances. If you cannot mutually agree to a visitation schedule, you have the following options: (A) Contact the other party to see if he or she will agree to mediation. (B) Contact the Friend of the Court and request them to file a petition with the court to change your order to require a specific schedule. (C) File a petition on your own behalf or contact an attorney to help you file the petition.

I have a specific parenting time schedule that I need to change. What can I do?

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    • If you need a temporary change in your parenting time schedule, contact the other parent to discuss making other arrangements. If you need to make a permanent change,
    • See if you and the other parent can agree to a change (stipulation and consent agreement).
    • The Friend of the Court can provide mediation services, if both parties agree to participate.
    • File a petition with the court for a change in the order on your own behalf or contact an attorney to help you file the petition.

If the payer of child support is not making regular child support payments, do I have to allow him/her to have parenting time?

Yes, parenting time and support are separate orders of the court, with separate enforcement procedures (see support enforcement section).

The other party is not following the parenting time order. What can I do?

File a written complaint with the Friend of the Court office. If the Friend of the Court determines that either parent has violated the parenting time order, they have the responsibility to proceed with enforcement (Parenting Time Enforcement Section).

The other parent is not sending or returning clothing or other personal items for our child. Is there anything the Friend of the Court can do?

The Friend of the Court follows the written Order of the Court. Unless your court order states each parents' responsibility for clothing, the Friend of the Court does not have any enforcement power.

Do I have to let my children go for parenting time if it appears that the other parent has been drinking or using drugs?

That is your decision. If you make the decision to deny parenting time in these circumstances, you may be asked to explain to the court at a contempt hearing why you felt your decision was in the best interest of the children.

I am concerned about the other parent discussing changes in the court orders with the children. What can the Friend of the Court do?

Unless your court order forbids such discussions, the Friend of the Court has no enforcement power.

The Friend of the Court has refused to enforce my visitation order. What can I do?

The law requires the Friend of the Court to enforce parenting time orders. If they refuse to comply with the law you have a right to file a grievance regarding their procedures (see Complaints about the Domestic Relations Legal System section).

Does the Friend of the Court have a responsibility to investigate alleged abuse and/or neglect of a child?

A Friend of the Court does not have any responsibility to investigate child abuse or neglect. Allegations of abuse or neglect should be reported to the Protective Services unit of your local Department of Human Services (DHS) office.

I have a parenting time order, and my teenage child does not want to come for parenting time. What can I do?

The parents of the child are bound by the court orders. However, you may consider one or more of the following:

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      • You may want to see if you can work out a different parenting time arrangement with the child and the other parent.
      • You can file a petition with the court requesting a change in your parenting time order.
      • You can request that the Friend of the Court enforce your parenting time order (see Parenting Time Enforcement section).