Parenting Time

A parenting time order grants time between the parent who does not have custody, and the children. The Michigan Child Custody Act (Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 722.27a(1-3), MSA 25.312(7a)) states: Parenting time shall be granted to a parent in accordance with the best interests of the child. It is presumed to be in the best interests of a child for the child to have a strong relationship with both of his or her parents. Except as otherwise provided in this section, parenting time shall be granted to a parent in a frequency, duration, and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the child and the parent granted parenting time. If the parents of a child agree on parenting time terms, the court shall order the parenting time terms unless the court determines on the record by clear and convincing evidence that the parenting time terms are not in the best interests of the child. A child has a right to parenting time with a parent unless it is shown on the record by clear and convincing evidence that it would endanger the child's physical, mental, or emotional health.

During the person's parenting time, that parent is responsible for all routine decisions affecting the child.

Parenting Time Enforcement

The Otsego County Friend of the Court (FOC) is required to provide enforcement services regarding orders for parenting time.

The Friend of the Court must begin enforcement when it receives a written statement containing specific facts. This statement should include dates, times and reasons given about any claimed denial of parenting time. A parenting time complaint form is available through the Friend of the Court Office or by visiting the following links:

Parenting Time Modification Actions Started by Parties

An individual may file his/her own motion for a change in his/her parenting time order ($60 filing fee). This is known as an In Pro Per, or Pro Se, parenting time modification. The office of the Friend of the Court will provide forms and instructions to any party who wishes to file this type of motion without the benefit of an attorney.

A party may also contact an attorney to file a motion requesting a change in the parenting time order.

If both parents agree (stipulate) to change the parenting time order in a way that benefits their child, they may sign an agreement (stipulation) that is available upon request at the FOC office. Once that agreement is put in the form of an order, signed by the judge, and filed with the county clerk, it will become an order of the court.