Friend of the Court Overview of Services
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Friend of the Court Overview of Services

OVERVIEW OF SERVICES

The Friend of the Court (FOC):

  • Conducts investigations & makes recommendations regarding custody, parenting time, and child support.
  • Provides formal and informal mediation services to settle custody & parenting time disputes.
  • Enforces custody & parenting time orders through administrative and judicial actions. Examples:
    • Contempt of Court - Orders to Show Cause (OSC)
    • Communication counseling, anger management classes, parenting skills training, etc.
    • Suspension of driver's, occupational and/or recreational licenses.
    • Makeup parenting time.
    • Motions to modify custody and/or parenting time.
  • Enforces support orders through administrative and judicial actions.  Examples:
    • Income Withholding Notices (IWNs).
    • Contempt of Court - Orders to Show Cause (OSC)
    • Interception of federal and state income tax refunds.
    • Suspension of driver's, occupational and/or recreational licenses.
    • Passport denials.
    • Liens on real and personal property.
    • Seizure of financial assets.
    • Referrals to job placement services.
    • Referrals to the County Prosecutor, State Attorney General, or U.S. Attorney for criminal prosecution.
  • Holds Early Intervention Conferences (EICs) to assess divorce cases, and acquaint parties with FOC services.
  • Administers orientation and co-parenting program - "Start Making It Liveable for Everyone" (SMILE).
  • Provides forms and instructions for filing custody, parenting time, and support motions as well as grievances.
  • Assists the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) in collecting, recording, and distributing support payments.
  • Assists the Citizens Advisory Committee in recommending improvements to FOC office operations.
  • Works in partnership with the State Court Administrative Office (SCAO) and State Department of Human Services (DHS formerly FIA).

The FOC cannot:

  • Provide legal representation or advice.
  • Enforce personal protection orders.
  • Investigate claims of criminal activity, including spousal abuse and child abuse.

Friend of the Court Handbook