Changing Parenting Time

Generally speaking, the court will order parenting time that allows a child as much time as possible with both parents The court will always consider the best interests of the child when ordering or changing parenting time.

Friend of the Court Investigations

The court may require the Friend of the Court to do an investigation and make a report and recommendation before the court will order a change in parenting time. If there is still a dispute between the parents, the judge may order that an evidentiary hearing be held.

The judge or a referee may talk to the child or children before making a decision. If there is a change in circumstances that makes a change in parenting time necessary, or if a parent wants to have specific parenting time with a child, that parent may ask his or her attorney to file a motion. If the parent wishes to file a motion on his or her own, the parent should file Motion Regarding Parenting Time with the court. You may obtain a copy of this motion at the Friend of the Court Office.

File a Response to Motion Regarding Parenting Time

The other party may file a Response to Motion Regarding Parenting Time. The party who files the Motion must pay a $20 Motion fee when the motion is filed with the court clerk. The matter will most likely be referred to the Friend of the Court for an investigation and recommendation. Many parenting time disputes are resolved by agreement during the investigation process.

If the parties are unable to agree on the requested or an alternative modification of parenting time during the investigation process, the Friend of the Court Investigator may submit a proposed parenting time order under the 21-day rule. 

Referee Hearings

In the event that either Party files an Objection to the proposed order within the 21 day period, the matter will be scheduled for a Referee Hearing.

Many parenting time disputes are resolved by agreement at the Referee Hearing. If a Referee holds the hearing and issues a proposed decision, either party has the right to object within 21 days, in which event the matter shall be scheduled before the judge.