Friend of the Court
About Friend of the Court
The Friend of the Court is the investigative and enforcement arm of the Circuit Court. The Friend of the Court (FOC) is responsible for making recommendations regarding child and medical support while protecting the rights and interests of children. It also, when ordered by the Court, provides recommendations regarding spousal support. The Friend of the Court enforces written orders regarding custody, parenting time, and child support.
The Friend of the Court can provide forms to file motions and responses regarding custody, parenting time, support, change of domicile, and repayment plans. In addition, in cooperation with the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU), the FOC also collects, records, and distributes support payments as ordered by the court.
Friend of the Court employees cannot provide legal advice.
Actions filed with Friend of the Court include:
- Divorce with minor children
- Parenting time modification and enforcement
- Paternity establishment
- Support modification and enforcement
Ask a question or check your case or call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone system at 877-543-2660.
Make a payment through the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU). Payments are also accepted at the Friend of the Court office (cash, money order, cashier's check, and credit card).
Information the Friend of the Court Needs to Know
Friend of the Court mail is not forwarded by the post office. You are required by court order to keep the Friend of the Court office advised of any change in your residential and mailing address as well as your telephone number. All changes must be submitted in writing.
If an address has been marked confidential, an alternative address must be provided to the Friend of the Court. The alternative address is used for mailing purposes only and can be disclosed in the same manner as a non-confidential address.
Changes in Employment
Any changes in employment must be reported to the Friend of the Court. Provide the name, address, and telephone number of your employer by telephoning or writing the office.
Complete and send the Change of Personal Information form (PDF) to the Otsego County Friend of the Court to update your information.
Enforcement & Changing Court Orders
Enforcement of Orders
The Friend of the Court enforces written orders of the court regarding custody, parenting time, and child support. For custody and parenting time enforcement, the party alleging a violation of the order must submit a timely written complaint to the Friend of the Court office. Note that if your order grants "reasonable parenting time" with no specific schedule, the Friend of the Court will not be able to take enforcement action. Verbal agreements cannot be enforced. Enforcement of support cannot begin unless payments are more than a month past due.
Changing Court Orders
Parties can stipulate (agree) to a change in the current order regarding custody, parenting time, change of domicile/legal residence, or support and have their agreement entered as an order of the court. If you wish to seek a modification of your court order, motion packets are available from the Friend of the Court office. Note that if any form of public assistance is being received (cash grant, Medicaid, food stamps, or child daycare assistance) current support or arrears cannot be waived and must be ordered based upon the Michigan Child Support Formula.
For support orders entered after January 1, 2015, a specific end date for support is included in the Uniform Support Order. If your child's circumstance has changed which would affect the end date of support, it is your responsibility to seek a modification to either extend support beyond age 18 or stop ongoing support after age 18, depending on the end date included in your support order.
Although this website is periodically reviewed and updated to include information to help answer the most common questions, what follows is not an exhaustive list of all policies, civil procedure, or domestic relation laws. To ensure that you are fully informed it is always advisable that you either research your issue at a public law library or that you consult with an Attorney. As for the materials and information made available throughout this website, the Otsego County Friend of Court Office is not responsible for their accuracy, adequacy, or completeness, or for the results obtained by using them.