In the previous segment in this two part series, we attempted to explain exactly what Friend of the Court is, and what a person could expect when first dealing with them. In this piece we are going to talk about some of the other roles that Friend of the Court serves, like enforcement, investigation and dispute resolution.
An important aspect of Friend of the Court’s duties is to offer dispute resolution services to families. This can mean either during or after divorces, and also in situations where the children were born out of wedlock.
This is sometimes done directly through Friend of the Court, and sometimes indirectly through mediation programs like the Community Dispute Resolution Program. This allows parents to address issues like custody arrangements, parenting time, visitation and other child related matters without having to go to court.
The Friend of the Court is responsible for enforcing the orders of the family court with regard to domestic relations cases, and also for children who may potentially become wards of the state. So for example, if your ex was refusing to abide by the time periods put in place by the court for your child custody agreement, you would have to meet with someone from Friend of the Court to report what was happening.
That agent would then also meet with your ex, and try to determine what the problem is and how it can be rectified to best benefit the child. They would also be in charge of delivering any other services that the family court has ordered, like family support actions and paternity actions.
This is also sometimes known as evaluation. It refers to Friend of the Court’s duty to gather information on behalf of the court that would affect the final decision made by the court with regards to issues like child custody agreements, visitation or parenting time arrangements, and child support.
Although child support is technically the jurisdiction of the Office of Child Support here in Michigan, Friend of the Court assists in the collection of child support payments, enforcement of payments, and even in instances where modifications to the original agreement is needed.
If you have any questions about Friend of the Court, you can go to their webpage, which explains a good deal more about what they do and what services they provide. However, if you have questions or concerns regarding your divorce, or how you and your ex plan to address issues of custody, visitation or child support, please call us at 517-886-1000. Our experienced family law attorneys can answer all of your questions, and help you figure out a solution that works for your family.