The Michigan Court System—Frequently Asked Questions

It is advisable for parties in a divorce to work out agreements outside the court system.

While it is possible to have further temporary hearings to resolve ongoing problems, such hearings are not favored by judges, and may not be in anyone's best interest. Judges are busy and the court docket is crowded, and any settlement agreed to between the parties and their attorneys may be more satisfactory than asking a Judge to "exercise the wisdom of Solomon' on a busy court day. Further, judges cannot solve most of the personal problems divorcing parties have, nor can they always make people be fair or decent to one another. For these reasons judges strongly encourage settlement where possible, as they know that where parties agree upon solutions to problems, the parties are more likely to abide by the agreement, than when a solution has been imposed upon them by the court.

Friend of the Court

The Friend of the Court (FOC) is charged by law with collecting and enforcing child support and spousal support, and with enforcing parenting time. As part of the Friend of the Court's authority in collecting money from payers of support, Michigan law provides for mandatory income withholding; forcing a payer's employer to send money from the payer's earnings directly to the Friend of the Court. In addition, that office may also mediate custody and parenting time disputes. However, any decision reached through this process may be brought before a Judge for a further hearing. The FOC also investigates custody disputes and prepares custody evaluations.

Continue to Mediation