Click Here for Friend of the Court Hours/Services
The Friend of the Court is the statutorily created arm of the Circuit Court. It is charged with ensuring that the Court’s orders with respect to child support and parenting time are observed by both parties. Action by the office is governed directly by the provisions of the court order with respect to any particular case. Until an order has been issued by the Judge who is assigned to a given domestic relations case, the Friend of the Court cannot become involved.
Friend of the Court staff uses many different approaches to obtain compliance with court orders. They include mediation whenever possible to encourage parents to develop the ability to resolve their own conflicts short of court action. If necessary, the Friend of the Court will take appropriate steps to enforce court orders that are harsher and may subject a party to contempt of court sanctions.
Although the Friend of the Court no longer receipts child support payment or issues checks, it does maintain the accounting records that are necessary in cases involving child support, health care and day care expenses for minor children.
The Friend of the Court also assists the court in reaching decisions by making recommendations on a wide range of issues including custody, child support and parenting time. With respect to child support, the Friend of the Court staff use the 2008 Michigan child support formula as required by law. They also abide by the statutory “best interest” requirements when making custody recommendations. However, until the matter is decided by a Judge and that decision put into a court order, a Friend of the Court recommendation is not the final word and is not enforceable.
The Friend of the Court is not the advocate of either party. It is designed specifically to assist the Judges of the Family decision by making recommendations as provided in the applicable statutes and once an order is entered, to ensure compliance with the provisions of that order.
About leaving a message
The Friend of the Court is committed to providing exceptional customer service. Our staff includes seven Court Services Specialists who are here to assist you with issues related to your case. We recognize that each case is different and there are a wide variety of concerns that can arise. Each of our staff members is dedicated to spending the appropriate time needed on each case to provide the best possible solution. Due to the significant number of active cases and the amount of time needed for each case, your Court Services Specialist may not be available to assist you via telephone at the time you call. If this is the case, we ask that you please leave a message. Your worker will make every effort to return your call within 48 hours.
Please observe basic courtesy when speaking with the Friend of the Court staff and/or when leaving a message. To process your concerns in a more timely fashion, we ask that when leaving a message you state the issue briefly and clearly. Please be advised that if your message contains foul or abusive language, it will not be returned. If it is apparent that your call concerns an issue that a Court Services Specialist is unable to resolve, it will be forwarded to the appropriate worker.
If you wish for your issue to be addressed without delay, we encourage you to take advantage of our daily walk-in hours listed above.
Circuit Court Administrator
Director, Friend of the Court