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Friend of the Court in Michigan Divorce Cases
Child custody, parenting time, and child support are major areas of concern for the court in Michigan divorce cases. The Friend of the Court (FOC) is dedicated to assisting parties with these three important matters at any point during the divorce proceedings, including after the judgment of divorce has been entered.
Understanding the Friend of the Court
The Friend of the Court is a division of the circuit court and a free service that handles all matters involving minor children. The FOC enforces child support payments.
The parties in a divorce are required to go to the FOC for an investigation and recommendation regarding custody, parenting time, and child support to ensure that the best interests of the children are always put first.
The FOC Investigation in Michigan
When a divorcing couple cannot agree on the custody of minor children, the FOC must conduct a complete investigation to determine parenting time and child support. This investigation includes:
- Interviews with both parties
- A review of relevant documentation
- Interviews with the children
- Consideration of other relevant details
After these efforts have been completed, the FOC prepares a report and makes custody recommendations, honoring what is in the best interests of the child. The recommendations take into consideration the FOC’s assessment of elements such as the ability for the parties involved to:
- Care for the child properly – including education, religious matters, medical care, food, clothing, and all other material needs
- Maintain a stable environment
- Prove moral fitness
- Establish mental and physical health
- Willingly facilitate a continuing parent-child relationship with child and the other parent
And, of course, the FOC must see proof of love, affection, and emotional ties between the party and the child. The FOC may also consider the reasonable preference of the child depending on his or her age.
How Friend of the Court Determines Child Support and Parenting Time
In Michigan, the FOC uses a child support guideline manual to make child support recommendations in divorce cases. The net income of the non-custodial parent is a key factor, as well as the health of the children, medical expenses, and childcare expenses.
Child support is computed based on an established formula, and support is calculated on a monthly basis. The amount of overnight parenting time the payor has plays a significant role in determining how much support is owed.
When there are no extenuating circumstances, parenting time between the minor children and non-custodial parent typically falls within the lines of having the children every other weekend, one night a week, alternate holidays, and for an extended period of weeks in the summer.
Opting Out of Friend of the Court
Some divorcing couples in Michigan choose to opt out of the Friend of the Court where child support and income withholding are concerned. They may believe that their divorce has proceeded amicably thus far and will continue to do so and, even if things do get heated, the two of them will get along for the sake of the children and always put them first.
Though a couple may have good intentions and vow to be kind, so their divorce can proceed smoothly and they can avoid unnecessary distress, when it comes to money matters and children, complications can and do arise. Financial situations change. Tempers flare. And that makes the FOC a vital tool for diffusing problems and establishing rules.
Friend of the Court Simplifies Michigan Divorce Matters
The Friend of the Court is intended to make divorce easier on couples and their children, but their recommendations are not always honored or accepted by divorcing parties. If you have questions about the FOC, how they can help you, and what role they will play in your divorce, schedule your free initial consultation with one of the experienced Michigan divorce lawyers at Femminineo Attorneys, PLLC in Macomb County.
What makes us the right divorce attorneys for you?
Family Law Expertise
Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.
We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.
Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.
Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Femminineo Attorneys cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.
Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.
Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.
We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.
When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.
Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day through our hot line at 586-854-3654.
At Femminineo Attorneys, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.
We encourage you to see these differences for yourself and call today to speak with one of our partners or schedule a free consultation at our office.
During traditional business hours, please call us at:
After hours and weekends, we are still available for you to speak to an attorney via our 24 Hour messaging center:
(586) 854 3654
Michigan Divorce Attorney
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The information presented within this website is for general information purposes and is NOT and should not be considered as being “legal advice”. You should not act on any information presented herein without the verifying same with your attorney.