Miscellaneous Questions

Question
How do I get the court's approval to change the children's residence outside the State of Michigan?
Answer
Parties may agree to a change of domicile (residence) by signing an agreement (stipulation).  Once this agreement is put in the form of an order and signed by the judge, it will become an order of the court.

If you and the other parent cannot agree upon a change of domicile, you may:

  • Contact the other parent and see if he or she will agree to mediation; or
  • File a motion on your own, or contact an attorney to help you file the  motion.
Notifying the Friend of the Court or filing a motion does not allow you to move your children farther than allowed by the order.  You must obtain a court order granting a change.

Related Forms
Motion Regarding Domicile/Legal  Residence
Response to Motion  Regarding Domicile/Legal Residence

Question
How do I get the court's approval to change the children's residence outside of 100 miles from my legal residence?
Answer
Parties may agree to a change of domicile (residence) by signing an agreement (stipulation).  Once this agreement is put in the form of an order and signed by the judge, it will become an order of the court.  If you and the other parent cannot agree upon a change of domicile, you may:

  • Contact the other parent and see if he or she will agree to mediation; or
  • File a motion on your own, or contact an attorney to help you file the  motion.
Notifying the Friend of the Court or filing a motion does not allow you to move your children farther than allowed by the order.  You must obtain a court order granting a change.

Related Forms
Motion Regarding Domicile/Legal  Residence
Response to Motion  Regarding Domicile/Legal Residence

Question
Why won’t the Friend of the Court enforce what the judge said in court, even if it’s not in the written order?
Answer
The Friend of the Court’s authority is limited to enforcing written orders.  If you think a written order does not say what the judge said in court, first tell the person who prepared the order and request a change.  If necessary, you can file a motion that asks the court to correct the order.

Question
Can the Friend of the Court enforce property settlement provisions in my judgment of divorce?
Answer
No, the Friend of the Court has no authority to enforce the court’s property-division order.  The court itself will enforce that order.  If the other party does not comply with an order, you may file a motion asking the court to enforce the order.

Question
May I review the Friend of the Court file for my case?
Answer
Parties and their attorneys are entitled to see most of the information in their Friend of the Court file.  There are exceptions for certain confidential documents.  See Michigan Court Rule 3.218.  The Friend of the Court may charge a reasonable fee for copying records.

Question
May other persons see my Friend of the Court file?
Answer
A Friend of the Court file is not public information.

Question
May I see my child’s school, medical, and other records if my child lives with the other parent?
Answer
Michigan law gives both parents the right to see certain records, regardless of the custody arrangement, including medical, dental, school, and day-care records.  In addition, both parents are entitled to receive advance notice of meetings that concern their child’s  education.  However, the Friend of the Court cannot enforce that law.  You may wish to consult an attorney if you are denied any of those rights.

Question
What happens to my child support order and any support that may be owed if my minor child is adopted, marries, or enters the military service?    
Answer
When any of those “emancipating events” occur, the court will grant a motion ending the obligation to pay further child support.  Copies of adoption orders, marriage records, or military service records should be provided to the court.  Any overdue support must still be paid.

Question 
Will the Friend of the Court help find a missing parent?     
Answer
Yes, the state and federal governments have a parent locater service that may be used to locate a parent for any of the following purposes: 
    
  • Collect  child support
  • Obtain a court order on child custody or parenting time matter, or  enforce an existing order of either type
  • Enforce state or federal law prohibiting the unlawful taking or restraint  of a child
When using  the parent locator service, the following information is very helpful:

  • The  missing parent’s full name, date of birth, and social security number
  • The missing parent’s last known  address
  • Services or their designees.