Macomb County Friend of the Court

40 N. Main Street, 6th Floor
Mount Clemens, MI 48043-8606
24 HOUR INTERACTIVE VOICE RESPONSE SYSTEM
(586) 469-7618

Map and Parking Information

OFFICE HOURS

Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Holiday Calendar

TELEPHONE HOURS
Monday through Friday
8:00 a.m. to 12 noon
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

OPERATOR ASSISTANCE
(586) 469-5160

FAX
(586) 469-7941
 

EMAIL
FriendoftheCourt@macombgov.org

Mission

The mission of the Macomb County Friend of the Court is to fairly and efficiently enforce court orders relating to child support, health care, spousal support, parenting time and custody and to investigate, evaluate and submit recommendations to the court on any contested domestic relation matter, as well as provide alternative dispute resolution opportunities for litigants and the court.

Why Am I Receiving a check for less than $1.00?

 

On December 8, 2014, the State of Michigan released all previously held money which had a value of less than $1.00.

In the past, any amount received or disbursed less than $1.00, was held until at least $1.00 had accumulated or could be combined to total $1.00, to avoid issuing checks unneccesarily.

Michigan State law requires the Office of Child Support (OCS) to disburse all monies to custodial parents electronically unless there is a qualified exemption.

The Michigan Child Support Enforcement System (MiCSES) has modified the computer application to automatically disburse this money that is in the amount of less than $1.00.  This has been completed as of December 6, 2014.

From now on, funds will be disbursed to the appropriate parties regardless of the amount.

*** Special Notice ***

You may be eligible for a special program that could reduce or eliminate your State child support arrears. Please see the Arrears Management Program section of this page for more details. 

NOTE:

  • Due to capacity limitations, we request only litigants and their attorneys appear at the Friend of the Court.
  • Please be advised that all parenting time inquiries must now be made in person, by facsimile, email, or regular mail. Telephone calls are not accepted.
  • The instructions for filing a motion regarding support in Macomb County Circuit Court, as well as links to the appropriate forms, can now be found on the Friend of the Court - Forms page of our website. 

 

You may contact the Friend of the Court by email. You may send your email to FriendoftheCourt@macombgov.org and it will be routed to the proper Macomb County Friend of the Court employee. Please remember your email will be processed in the same manner and time frame as our regular mail. Emails will not receive priority over correspondence received through regular mail. If a reply is necessary it will be in the form of a letter, through regular mail. We will not respond via email. If you have an emergency or an issue you feel needs immediate attention please either contact our office by phone or appear in person during regular office hours.

 

View your case/docket information online. The State of Michigan has created a website for viewing your case information. The MiCase Web application provides Custodial and Non-Custodial parents an efficient way to access selected information about payments and enforcement activity on your case/docket. Click here to create your account. For answers to frequently asked questions, please click here

 

We will not accept a change of address for a custodial party through email. You may download the change of address form from our website and mail the signed form to our office. We will accept a change of address for a non-custodial party via email. Emails must include identifying information including your name, case number, Judge and who your mail is addressed to. Failure to provide proper case identification could result in your email being returned.

Understanding Child Support: A Handbook for Parents (DHS Pub-748)

Information in this handbook contains:

• A description of the child support services available;
• An explanation of the individual’s rights and responsibilities;
• A list of the support enforcement services available;
• Information about fees related to the child support program;
• Information about cost recovery and distribution; and
• A telephone number or postal address for obtaining further information.

Friend of the Court Handbook (updated 5/8/08) 

This handbook is published by the Michigan Supreme Court's, State Court Administrative Office. It was modified to reflect appropriate Macomb County information by Friend of the Court Lynn Davidson. It provides information on Friend of the Court procedures.

Friend of the Court Grievance Procedure 

In the event a person has a grievance with some internal office procedure involving the Friend of the Court, this procedure can be utilized for the Friend of the Court to review the grievance. The grievance must be filed with the Friend of the Court. 

Filings

All court pleadings must be filed with the Clerk of the Court, 40 N. Main, Mount Clemens, MI 48043. 

Correspondence with the Friend of the Court does not constitute a Court filing. The Friend of the Court maintains separate files and records.

Access to Friend of the Court Records

Access to Friend of the Court records is governed by Michigan Court Rule 3.218, statute and Local Administrative Order 2003-4. A person wishing to access Friend of the Court records shall mail or deliver form FOC 72, Request to Access Friend of the Court Records and Decision or written request with sufficient information, with the Friend of the Court. The Friend of the Court has five (5) working days to review and determine if the request will be granted or denied, if full or part.

Friend of the Court Recommendations and Judgment Entry Fee 

The Macomb County Circuit Court requires that the Friend of the Court submit recommendations on the questions of custody, support, parenting time, health care and child care in all divorce cases involving minor children prior to the entry of a judgment of divorce. 

State law requires the payment of a judgment entry fee on or before the date of the entry of the judgment of divorce. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Friend of the Court Investigation Fee.’ It is collected at the time of Judgment. The fee is $80.

Fees for Post Judgment Motions Regarding Custody Support or Parenting Time

When a party files a post-judgment motion relating to custody, parenting time or support, the fee must be paid at the time of filing the motion in addition to the $20 motion fee. A motion seeking any order modifying custody, parenting time or support must pay a fee. It is $80 unless the only issue is support. If the only issue is support, it is $40. 

Ex Parte Interim Relief 

Upon proper application, an ex parte interim order of support, custody, parenting time and attorney fees may be obtained immediately upon filing of a complaint in the discretion of the judge assigned to the case. A showing of need for this relief is required. Any other request for relief requires an appropriate motion which must be noticed for hearing according to State and local court rule. Motions are heard on Monday mornings. If a Monday is a legal holiday, motions are heard on Tuesday. The Michigan court rule requires a fee of $20 in order to file a motion.

Mediation and Alternate Dispute Resolution

The Friend of the Court staff provides informal mediation services to resolve custody and parenting time disputes. Informal mediation is conducted by custody investigators, judicial service officers, and referees. If you seek formal mediation, you may contract to have a private mediator resolve your custody and parenting time disputes. The Macomb County Circuit Court has adopted an alternative dispute resolution Plan which may be utilized by the judge assigned to your case, in his or her discretion. More information on the ADR Plan is provided on the Information Page of this site.

Child Support Adjustments

In all post-judgment cases where an order of support has been established, the support order may be modified if the payer becomes unemployed or disabled. The payer of child support must personally appear in the Friend of the Court Office and document the unemployment or disability and reduced earnings. At that time, a motion to adjust support arrearages may be filed on behalf of the payer, setting forth the existing financial circumstances and the reduced support amount. Copies of this motion will be mailed to both the payer and payee by the Friend of the Court Office. The payer shall notify the Friend of the Court when (s)he returns to employment. Upon receipt of this notification, the Friend of the Court will present to the Circuit Court an ex parte order adjusting the arrearages of the child support account based upon the unemployment/disability. A true copy of the ex parte order will be mailed to the payer and payee by the Friend of the Court. If the payee objects to the motion to temporarily reduce child support or the ex parte order, the Friend of the Court will schedule the matter for hearing before the Court. 

Arrears Management Program

REDUCE OR ELIMINATE YOUR STATE* CHILD SUPPORT ARREARAGES
*This program does not apply to arrears owed to 1) a custodial party, 2) for reimbursement of Medicaid expenses, 3) birth/confinement expenses; or 4) statutory service fees

The Michigan Office of Child Support (OCS) now has a program to help certain payers reduce state-owed child support debt (arrears). Our records show that you owe past-due child support to the State of Michigan.

There are plans that allow for some or all of the state-owed past-due child support to be forgiven for a payer in certain situations, for example:

  • Homeless
  • In prison long-term
  • Unemployable
  • Currently receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
  • Dealing with large medical costs (self or family)
  • Now living with the children on the court order
  • Now married to the other party on the court order
  •  

If you do not qualify for one of the above, but you can pay some but not all of your past-due child support, the state will “match” a one-time payment toward the debt. For example, if you pay $1000, the state will then reduce state-owed debt by another $1000. 

If you are interested in participating in or learning more, please print and complete the Request to Discharge State-Owed Debt (DHS-681) and return it to the Friend of the Court Office. Once received, it will be reviewed to determine if you are eligible.
NOTE: The Request to Discharge State-Owed Debt (DHS-681) must be completed in full. There can be no blanks or it will be rejected. 

If you have any questions regarding either of these programs, please refer to the frequently asked questions or contact the Macomb County Friend of the Court at (586) 469-5736.

Reasonable Rights of Parenting Time (formerly known as Visitation)

Under State law, the judge assigned to a domestic relations case with minor children will determine the "reasonable rights of parenting time" for the parents. In order to enforce parenting time, the parties must have a specific order specifying the parenting time. The Macomb County Circuit Court Family Division has utilized guidelines for parenting time, in the absence of special circumstances. The following Parenting Time schedule is a suggestion only as to what might be considered reasonable Parenting Time rights:

Weekend Parenting Time - Every other weekend from 6:00 p.m. Friday until 7:00 p.m. Sunday (during the school year), and 8:00 p.m. Sunday (during the summer). 

Weekday Parenting Time – One evening per week from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on a weekday to be determined by the parties. If unable to agree, it will be on Thursday. 9:00 p.m. extended return during the summer months. 

Holidays 

Father will have these specified holidays in all odd-numbered years, and mother will have these holidays in all even-numbered years:

 Memorial Day Weekend from Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Memorial Day at 7:00 p.m. 

• Labor Day Weekend from Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Labor Day at 7:00 p.m. 

Father will have the following holidays in all even-numbered years and mother will have these holidays in all odd-numbered years: 

• Fourth of July from July 3rd at 6:00 p.m. until July 5th at 7:00 pm. 

• Halloween from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on October 31st. 

• Thanksgiving weekend from 6:00 p.m. the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving until 7:00 p.m. Sunday. 

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – The child(ren) will be with the mother for the entire Mother’s Day weekend and with the father for the entire Father’s Day weekend from Friday at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Normal parenting time schedule resumes after the Mother/Father’s Day weekend. 

Christmas/Winter Break 

In all odd-numbered years, father’s Christmas parenting time will be from 6:00 p.m. on the last day of the child(ren)’s school until 9:00 p.m. on December 24th. Mother’s Christmas parenting time will be from 9:00 p.m. on December 24th until 7:00 p.m. the day before school resumes. 

In all even-numbered years, mother’s Christmas parenting time will be from 6:00 p.m. on the last day of the child(ren)’s school until 9:00 p.m. on December 24th. Father’s Christmas parenting time will be from 9:00 p.m. on December 24th until 7:00 p.m. the day before school resumes.

If the child is not of school age, the school vacation schedule of the district where the child resides will be followed.

Easter/Spring Break and Mid-Winter Break 

Father will have the Easter/Spring Break in even-numbered years and Mid-Winter Break in odd-numbered years. Mother will have the Easter/Spring Break in odd numbered years and Mid-Winter Break in even numbered years. Spring and Mid-Winter parenting time begins at 6:00 p.m. the day school recesses and concludes at 7:00 p.m. the evening before the school resumes. 

Summer Parenting Time

Each parent will have a total of three (3) weeks (only 2 weeks consecutive):

The single week shall consist of seven (7) consecutive overnights to begin on a Sunday at 8:00 p.m. The custodial parent’s vacation week may not disrupt the non-custodial parent’s alternating weekend. 

The two-week period shall consist of 14 consecutive overnights to begin on a Sunday at 8:00 p.m. 

Both parties must agree to a schedule of these dates by May 1st. 

Extra Curricular Activities 

Each parent is responsible for taking the child(ren) to all extracurricular and sporting activities which are scheduled during their parenting time. 

Relationship to Child Support

Note: Parenting time should continue whether or not support is being paid. Child support must be paid whether or not parenting time is occurring.

Consent Orders

All agreements by the natural parents of a child(ren) involving custody, support, parenting time, removal of the minor child(ren) from the state of Michigan, and any other matter related to the child(ren) which is in the best interests of said child(ren), will be processed by the Friend of the Court upon request. 


Processing Child and Spousal Support Payments

Several procedures have been established by the Macomb County Friend of the Court for the processing of child and spousal support payments. The more important are as follows:

1. The Friend of the Court Office will no longer accept personal checks upon receipt. Checks will be accepted and processed by the Michigan State Disbursement United (MiSDU). The Friend of the Court Office will accept cash at the Cashier counter.

2. The Friend of the Court/MiSDU collects and distributes support through the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System (MiCSES).

a. MiCSES is designed according to federal regulations. The federal government requires all support charges (e.g., child support, child care, spousal support, etc.) to be calculated based on a monthly charge cycle.

b. For cash, money orders, personal and out-of-state checks, the federal government requires current child support and spousal support for a given month to be paid first. Any additional amount can be used to pay overdue support arrearages or other types of obligations (e.g., service fees).

c. MiCSES does not allow for the automatic distribution of overpayments on an account. If a payer’s monthly payment exceeds the amount due for a month, and there are no other obligations to apply the money to, the additional monies are placed in a suspense account. 

Unreimbursed Health Care Expenses

The custodial party or non-custodial party must submit their request for proportionate reimbursement to the other party within 28 days of the insurers’ final payment or denial of coverage. 

If direct reimbursement is not received by the other party within 28 days after the demand, the request for payment of uninsured health care expenses may be submitted to the Friend of the Court. 

It is the custodial party or non-custodial party’s duty to submit the reimbursement request to the Friend of the Court one year after the expense was incurred, six months after insurer’s final payment or denial of claim, or six months after a parent defaults in paying for a health care expense as required under written agreement. Expenses more than a year old, from date of payment, will not be accepted by the Friend of the Court for enforcement. 

The Friend of the Court will then establish a medical assessed account and pursue reimbursement for the custodial party. 

Any questions relating to these policies and procedures may be directed to the Friend of the Court medical program specialist during regular business hours.