In Michigan, 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 in Michigan 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 petition or contact a Michigan family law attorney to help file the petition.
2. Why won't the Michigan Friend of the Court enforce what the Judge said in Court, even if it is not in the written order?
The Court speaks through it's written orders, therefore, the Michigan 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 in Michigan with the Court asking the Court to correct the written order.
3. Can the Michigan Friend of the Court enforce the property settlement provisions contained in my Judgment of Divorce in Michigan?
The Friend of the Court enforces custody, visitation, and support orders in Michigan. The Friend of the Court in Michigan does not have the power to enforce property settlement orders.
4. What is a Friend of the Court Referee in Michigan and what can they do?
In Michigan family law cases, a Referee is a person who takes testimony and reports to the Court. A Referee can be either a Friend of the Court or an attorney employed by the Friend of the Court. The Chief Judge of a Circuit Court may appoint a Referee to hear any domestic relations matter. A hearing before a Referee is not the same as a hearing before a Judge. The findings of a Referee are only recommendations to the Court, and are not final. These recommendations will become an Order of the Court if neither party files an objection.
Michigan state law requires that any written report and recommended order made by a Referee must be given to the parties and their attorneys before the judge takes any action on the recommendation. If a party in Michigan disagrees with a Referee's recommendation, he or she has the right to a hearing before the Court. This hearing in Michigan must be requested in writing within 21 days after receiving the Referee recommendation (request for a hearing on an income withholding order must be made within 14 days). Contact the Michigan Friend of the Court Office for the address to which the written request for a hearing should be sent.
5. What can the Michigan Friend of the Court do to find a missing parent?
The state and federal government have set up a parent locating service that can be used to:
- Locate a parent to collect Michigan child support;
- Locate a parent for deciding or enforcing a Michigan child custody matter;
- Locate a parent in cases of parental kidnapping in Michigan
- The Michigan Friend of the Court, Prosecuting Attorney, and Department of Human Services support specialist can ask to use this service. The full name, date of birth, social security number, and last known address of the parent to be located is required.
6. What happens to my Michigan child support order and any support that may be owed when children are adopted?
In Michigan, adoptions take place in Probate Court. The Friend of the Court must be provided copies of all Probate Court adoption orders. The child support order stops when children are adopted. The Friend of the Court is required to collect all support owed at the time of the adoption. Contact the Michigan Friend of the Court to arrange to pay all money owed.