A: The Friend of the Court offers the following services to parents to assist them with custody and parenting time issues:
A: File a written complaint with the Friend of the Court. If the Friend of the Court believes the Parenting Time Order has been violated, it shall start enforcement action. Do not call the police. The only time that the police should be called is if the child or the parties are in immediate danger. Calling the police for parenting time disputes is very traumatic for the child. Most law enforcement agencies do not become involved in settling custody and/or parenting time disputes and will only refer the parents to the Friend of the Court.
A: Report your concerns to the Protective Services unit of the Department of Human Services. You may also wish to provide, in writing, a copy of the your concerns to your Friend of the Court office so that they may be a part of your file. The Friend of the Court office, however, does not, by law, have the authority to investigate and remove children in abuse or neglect matters. This is done by Protective Services through your local Juvenile Branch of Family Court.
A: Parents are to obey Court Orders, regardless of the child's age. It is the parents responsibility to promote a positive relationship with the child and the other parent.
A: Contact the Friend of the Court for enforcement if support is one month overdue. You may also contact an attorney to start enforcement action.
A: No. Not without a change in your Court Order and having that Order filed with a Court Clerk. If you fail to do so, you might not receive credit for the payment.
A: No. The law does not give anyone the authority to verify how child support payments are being spent.
A: By calling the account information line (IVR) at: 1-877-543-2660 or by registering online at the MICase webside at: www.michigan.gov/micase.
A: Support charges through the end of the month the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is last.
A: The FOC does not enforce joint legal custody issues. Joint legal custody includes important decisions affecting the children (health, medical, education, and religion). You may want to ask the other parent to participate in counseling with you so that these issues can be discussed. Otherwise, you can file a motion requesting the court to enforce the joint legal custody provision. Consultation with an attorney is advised.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call the Friend of the Court office at (269) 467-5570.