Contact Information

Friend of the Court

325 Court Street

Suite 104

Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

(906) 635-6347

Friend of the Court

FAQ's

Child Support

 

How do I obtain/modify an order for child support?

If you do not have a case: 

Friend of the Court does not initiate custody/support/parenting time actions.  To begin a case, you may:

  • Contact an attorney.

  • Contact the state of Michigan, and request IV-D services (to initiate a support action):

    • Telephone: (866)-540-0008

    • Website

  • You may also find the following self-help website useful: michiganlegalhelp.org

 

If you have a case

You may file a motion regarding child support, found here.

If the custodial parent is not allowing me to see my child, do I still have to pay child support?

 

Yes, parenting time and support are separate orders of the court, with separate enforcement procedures (see support enforcement section).

The non-custodial parent is not paying support. What can I do?

Contact the Friend of the Court and request enforcement if the back support equals payments of four weeks or more. You may also contact an attorney to file an enforcement action.

I lost my job.  What should I do?

 

Contact Friend of the Court.  It is important you provide proof of your unemployment to Friend of the Court as soon as possible, as well as information about any pending benefits you may be eligible for.  If you have lost your job due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be eligible for a support review.   

My court order states that I am to pay support through the MiSDU.  Can I pay the support to the custodial parent directly?

NO!   Support is paid through the MiSDU in order that an official record of payments is maintained.  It is done for the protection of both parties and the children.  Credit will not be given for child support paid directly, except for periods before the support order is signed by the Judge.

Is the Friend of the Court responsible for making sure that child support money is being spent on the child?

The law does not give the Friend of the Court the right to question how child support payments are spent.  It is presumed that the custodial parent is making reasonable efforts to meet the child’s needs.

If my parental rights are terminated, does my child support stop?

 Child support does not stop automatically when parental rights are terminated.  There must be an order stopping child support or an Order for Adoption entered to stop child support.

My child is no longer in daycare, do I have to notify Friend of the Court?

 

Yes, if your support order includes child care.

 

How is child support calculated?

 

Child support is calculated pursuant to the Michigan Child Support Formula.  You can find the current Child Support Formula Manual here

           

Custody

 

How do I obtain an order for custody? 

  • Contact an attorney

 

How do I change my custody order?

File a motion with the court for a change in the order on your own behalf or contact an attorney to help you file the motion.

Parenting Time

My parenting time order states I have "reasonable parenting time or parenting time as the parties are able to agree." What does this mean?

This means the parents have the responsibility for setting up a mutually agreed upon schedule for parenting time, which is reasonable under the circumstances.  If you cannot mutually agree to a visitation schedule, either party may file a motion regarding parenting time, seeking entry of a specific parenting time schedule.  The motion regarding parenting time can be found here

I have a specific parenting time schedule that I need to change. What can I do?

  • If you need a temporary change in your parenting time schedule, contact the other parent to discuss making other arrangements.  

  • If you need to make a permanent change,

  • File a motion with the court for a change in the order on your own behalf or contact an attorney to help you file the petition

 

If the payer of child support is not making regular child support payments, do I have to allow him/her to have parenting time?

Yes, parenting time and support are separate orders of the court, with separate enforcement procedures (see support enforcement section).

The other party is not following the parenting time order. What can I do?

File a written complaint with the Friend of the Court office. If the Friend of the Court determines that either parent has violated the parenting time order, they will proceed with enforcement pursuant to their makeup parenting time policy.   

The other parent is not sending or returning clothing or other personal items for our child. Is there anything the Friend of the Court can do?

The Friend of the Court follows the written Order of the Court. Unless the Court order states each parent’s responsibility for clothing, the Friend of the Court does not have any enforcement power.

Do I have to let my children go for parenting time if it appears that the other parent has been drinking or using drugs?

That is the custodial parent’s decision. If the decision is made to deny parenting time in these circumstances, be prepared to explain to the Court at a contempt hearing why the decision was in the best interest of the child(ren).

Even if we have a specific schedule outlined in the court order, can we make our own verbal/written agreement to change the parenting time?

Parties are always free to make their own verbal/written agreements but the Friend of the Court can only enforce the language in the court order signed by the Judge.

 

 

Miscellaneous

My order states that I cannot move my children from the state of Michigan without approval of the Court.  How do I get the Court's approval?

If the parties mutually agree to a change of domicile and they sign a written agreement (stipulation and consent agreement), it will be entered as an order, if approved by the Court.  If the parties cannot mutually agree on a change of domicile, they have the following options:

  • Contact the other party to see if he or she will agree to mediation.

  • File a motion or contact an attorney to help file the motion.

 

**Notification to the Friend of the Court or filing a petition does not allow a party to move from the state, prior to a Court order being entered.

Why won't the Friend of the Court enforce what the Judge said in Court, even if it is not in the written order?

The Court speaks through its written orders, therefore, the Friend of the Court enforces only the written orders. If a party feels that the written order is incorrect, they may want to order a transcript of the hearing from which the order was established. If they find that the order does not agree with the transcript, bring the concerns to the attention of the person who prepared the written order and request a change. A party can also file a motion with the Court asking the Court to correct the written order.

Does the Friend of the Court have a responsibility to investigate alleged abuse and/or neglect of a child?

Allegations of abuse or neglect should be reported to the Protective Services Department of Health and Human Services, phone number 1-855-444-3911.

 Last modified 6/11/19