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Friend of the Court Offices has the following duties:

  • When parents cannot agree, or when directed by the judge to conduct investigations and make reports and recommendations to the court regarding:
    • custody
    • parenting time (which may include transportation)
    • amount of child support (including medical support, and sometimes spousal support
  • To offer formal mediation, when both parents agree to participate, as an optional way of settling disputes about custody or parenting time.
  • To assist the State Disbursement Unit in collecting and recording support payments as ordered by the court.
  • To provide enforcement services on custody, parenting time, and support orders.

The Friend of the Court's support enforcement responsibilities were mainly created pursuant to requirements of the Social Security Act. In Michigan, the child support program is administered by the Office of Child Support in cooperation with Friend of the Court Offices. The Office of Child Support is part of the Department of Human Services. It is responsible for administering federal child support program funds, coordinating location of absent parents, and managing the process for income tax intercepts.

Each party has a responsibility to:

  • Inform the Friend of the Court, in writing, of the following information:
    • Current residential and mailing addresses,
    • Current employer or source of income's name, address, and telephone number,
    • Current telephone number,
    • Any occupational or driver's license held, and the driver's license number,
    • Social security number, unless exempt by law from disclosing that number,
    • Current residence of children,
    • Current information regarding health care coverage available as a benefit of employment or maintained by either party.
  • Provide information to assist the Friend of the Court in carrying out its duties as required by law.
  • Obey all court orders.
  • Keep mandatory appointments scheduled by the Friend of the Court Office.
  • Treat Friend of the Court employees fairly and courteously.