Ninth Judicial Circuit Court
FRIEND OF THE COURT HANDBOOK - PARENTING TIME ENFORCEMENT
The FOC assists parents in resolving parenting time denials and concerns through written communications and individual and joint appointments. These matters should be reported to the FOC through a letter of complaint (a form is available from our office) that includes the following information:
- What has been the normal schedule of parenting time?
- What was the date and length of last visit?
- What was the date of denial of parenting time?
- What was the reason given for denial and reasons you believe parenting time was denied?
- What other factors have contributed to the parenting time problem?
- Was there discussion of an alternate time for the parenting time to occur or an arrangement for a make-up parenting time?
If the FOC has reason to believe that the parenting time order has been violated, the office may:
- Write the parents requesting more information or informing them of their legal obligations under the court's order.
- Refer the parties to a mediator if they agree to mediation.
If the above options are not successful, the FOC may do one or more of the following:
- Apply the local make-up parenting time policy.
- Begin a civil contempt proceeding with the court by filing a petition for an order to show cause.
At the time of this hearing, the parent who is ordered to appear in court is required to "show cause" why he or she is not obeying the court order concerning parenting time. If the court decides that a parent has violated the court order, the court can order make-up parenting time, payment of fines, suspension of licenses and/ or incarceration in the county jail.
- Petition the court to change the existing parenting time order. A report and recommendation will be provided in writing to the parties or their attorneys before the court hearing on the petition.
Parenting Time Modification Actions Started by Parties
An individual may file a motion for a change in an existing parenting time order without hiring an attorney. This is known as Pro Per or Pro Se parenting time modification. The FOC will provide forms and instructions to any party who wishes to file this type of motion. A party may also contact an attorney to file a motion to change parenting time.
If both parties agree to change the parenting time order in a way that benefits their child, they may sign an agreement stating the terms of the agreement. If that agreement is put in the form of an order, it can be signed by the Judge and filed with the court clerk to become the new court order.