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What do i need to do if the non-custodial parent doesnt excercise his parenting time?

Houghton Lake, MI |

I have sole legal and physical custody of my child. The father has reasonable parenting the court left it up to us to determine times and dates when he see his child. The father will not have a converstaion with me about the visitation when he wants to see the child. Since May 2011 until now hes only seen him maybe twice a month a few over night stays. He wont pick him up, he never asks me to see him im always the one to bring it to his attention about his so my son can have a father and son relationship. Ive made a schedule using the parenting guidelines but he still refuses to agree with the terms should i bring it to the courts attention? I have refusesd his parenting time because he will not buy clothes for him for when my child is over there am i violating parenting time?

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Attorney answers 2


First, you cannot violate the terms of the court order by refusing to allow him his parenting time if he doesn't buy clothes. Just send your child with clothes. As for notifying the court that the child's father is not exercising his parenting time, there is no reason to do that. The court is not going to force him to be a good dad. Sadly, some parents do not take advantage of the time with their own children. It is, however, good that you have been trying to encourage a positive and healthy relationship between the father and child. That is very important and many people in your position do not understand that. Good for you. Continue to do that and just keep track of the days the father does or does not exercise his parenting time. Should he later decide to challenge you in court for anything, you would have a documented record of what actually had been occurring.

Keep being the parent you know your child needs and do not say negative things to your child about the father. Good Luck!

The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. This attorney is only licensed in Michigan and does not give legal advice in any other state. All comments are to be considered conversational information and you should not rely on these comments as legal advice or in place of retaining an attorney of our own. The comments here are based solely on what you have provided and therefore are general in nature and with more specific facts or details a different answer or outcome could result. The legal system is not a perfect science and this attorney does not guarantee any outcome.


You cannot force the father to exercise his custodial time nor impose a schedule or preconditions like buying clothes, but so far you are mostly behaving appropriately. Your child deserves to have a relationship with both parents. Whatever is the reason for his reluctance, the most loving thing you can do for your child is continue to make contact for the father as easy as you can reasonably manage. Or course, you shouldn't be required to do that, but you seem to have an excellent intuition about what is best for your child. The day may come when the father comes to his senses about being a better father, or maybe not. Either way, the day will come that your child thanks you for doing your best to make up for the father's shortcomings. Do you HAVE to do it? No, you WANT to do it. Bite your tongue and make excuses for his irresponsibility. Your child will figure out soon enough where the problem is, and doesn't need your help explaining it.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, an dplease remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.



Thank you for your help. Also i would like to add the father is in a relationship going on 4 months now i have met her once. I allowed my son over there to spend then night with his dad. They had moved into a new apartment and refuses to tell me where he lives. Also he does not have a phone so i can contact him if needed or if something happened where i needed to be contacted . Ive tried texting the girlfriends phone and all i get is inappropriate comments Do i have to let the father have parenting time with not knowing where he lives or without a phone?

Paula Brown Sinclair

Paula Brown Sinclair


You are expected to comply with the court order until it is changed. Adding a requirement for emergency contact information is an appropriate modification to request of the court.

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