Friend of the Court (FOC) in Michigan
In many family law cases, there are disputes surrounding issues such as child custody, parenting time and child support. These disagreements come up often enough where the court systems have found it necessary to have a particular individual appointed in order to investigate claims and accusations of wrongdoing.
Known as the Friend of the Court (FOC), this individual plays a crucial role in Michigan family law cases, particularly for the aforementioned issues. The FOC is employed as part of the circuit court’s family division located within Michigan’s various counties. In certain cases, it may be necessary for parents and concerned parties to go above and beyond what the FOC offers and consult with a family law attorney in order to resolve issues.
Function and Duties of The FOC
As discussed, the FOC handles a variety of issues related to family law, divorce, and custody. These issues include but are not limited to the following:
- Conducting investigations and making reports and recommendations concerning child custody
- Investigating and reporting on issues related to child support
- Investigating and reporting on issues related to parenting time
- Providing legal documents concerning family law issues and acting as a legal resource in the absence of an attorney
- Offering mediation when both parents agree to the process, which can be used as an alternative method of settling disagreements about custody and parenting time
- Providing enforcement services for custody, parenting time and support orders
- Helping parents settle disagreements and legal disputes regarding custody, parenting time, etc.
The FOC’s Role in Family Law Cases
The FOC plays an important role in family law cases, especially for those who do not have an attorney or other legal counsel. The FOC provides participants with important forms, motions, responses, orders and certain forms of legal assistance. While an excellent resource, the Michigan Friend of the Court is no substitute for professional legal advice and it is recommended that those who have the means to do so work with an experienced attorney to ensure the best outcome in their case.
Parties involved in Michigan family law cases have the option to opt out of the services provided by the Friend of the Court if they decide it is not necessary. They also have the option of closing a case file that is currently open even if the FOC is already involved in the case. If the parties opt out of the use of the FOC, then they are then fully responsible for the administration and enforcement of family court orders. It is normally only recommended for parties to opt out of the services of the FOC when they have alternative legal counsel such as an attorney.
Michigan Friend of the Court Document used for custody and parenting time disputes. The document has boxes of information for the plaintiff and defendant to fill in.
Friend of the Court Locations
There are several FOC locations throughout the State of Michigan. These courts are specific to various counties throughout the State. Below is a list of the individual courts with their address, website, and driving directions.
Oakland County Friend of the Court
230 Elizabeth Lake Rd
Pontiac, MI 48341
Wayne County Friend of the Court
645 Griswold St
Detroit, MI 48226 (Penobscot Building)
Macomb County Friend of the Court
10 N Main St.
Mt Clemens, MI 48043
Washtenaw County Friend of the Court
101 E Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Livingston County Friend of the Court
210 S Highlander Way # 3
Howell, MI 48843