Contempt of Court (Show Cause) Hearing Regarding Parenting Time
If a party is denied parenting time as specified in their court order, it is the responsibility of the parent who was denied the parenting time to file a complaint with the Friend of the Court. Parenting Time Complaint Form must be submitted within 56 days of the alleged violation.
The Friend of the Court commences enforcement of parenting time by sending a copy of the complaint to the accused party within 21 days after the FOC office receives the complaint. If the complaint is found to be a valid complaint, the FOC may suggest "makeup" parenting time, initiate a Show Cause Hearing for Contempt, or file a motion to modify parenting time. If the complaint is found to be invalid, correspondence will be sent to the complaining party as to why the complaint was not enforceable, and what the party's options may be.
Neither party has the right to stop paying child support because parenting time is being denied. Conversely, neither parent has the right to withhold parenting time because child support is not being paid.
Linked here is a list regarding all enforceable and non-enforceable parenting time provisions.
If a party does not appear for an Order to Show Cause hearing, the judge may issue a *bench warrant for the payer's arrest, so that he or she may be brought before the court. Once a bench warrant is issued, the duty to arrest usually lies with local law enforcement agencies. A bench warrant issued for failure to appear for an Order to Show Cause hearing has a jurisdiction limited to the State in which it is issued.
- If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of someone you believe to have a Friend of the Court bench warrant issued for his/her arrest please call local law enforcement or our office at 989-743-2397 with the information.
- There are two reason why the Friend of the Court might issue a bench warrant for your arrest. The first is for failure to appear at a court hearing for which you have been show caused. If you receive a notice for a hearing signed by a judge, and you are the party being enforced on, you MUST appear to the scheduled hearing or a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest. If a bench warrant for failure to appear has been issued for your arrest you may make arrangements to appear before your assigned judged through the Friend of the Court staff. If you are arrested on contempt for failure to appear warrant you will be brought before a judge to face possible sentencing.
- A bench warrant might also be issued for contempt due to the failure to comply with a judge’s enforcement order. This bench warrant is issued after you have appeared before a judge for a show cause hearing, the judge has sentenced you to jail but suspended the sentences upon your compliance with the terms of the enforcement order. If you do not comply, a bench warrant will be issued for you arrest. You may or may not appear before the judge again but it is likely that you will serve time in jail for contempt.
*A bench warrant holds a maximum jail sentence of ninety (90) days.