- Where do I go for assistance if I want to represent myself?
Go to: www.michiganlegalhelp.org
- Who do I call if I can’t afford to hire an attorney?
Legal Services of South Central Michigan, 123 West Territorial Road, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015. (269) 965-3951 or (800) 688-3951
- What do I need t do if I want to move or change the domicile of the children to another state or move over 100 miles away?
You need the Court’s permission to move out of State. If you have joint legal custody, you also need the Court’s permission to more more than one hundred (100) miles from the place the children were living at the time the judgment or order was entered. The 100 mile rule applies to moves made within the State of Michigan as well. If you are a custodial parent who wants to move with a minor child out of state, you must file a Motion to Change Domicile. Remember that you must serve the other parent with a copy of the motion and a notice as to the time and date of the hearing on the motion. If the other parent consents to the proposed move, he or she may sign a consent order that allows for the move to take place. Forms are available at the Friend of the Court Office.
- Does the Friend of the Court investigate alleged abuse and/or neglect of my children?
No. The Friend of the Court does not have the legal authority to investigate and/or remove children in abuse and/or neglect matters. You should report your concerns to the Child Protective Services Division of the Department of Human Services.
- Will the FOC enforce what the judge said in court or agreements of the parties?
The FOC can only enforce what is written in a Court order. If you believe that the written order does not say what the judge said in court, you should first ask the person who prepared the order to make the necessary changes. If that doesn’t work, then you can file a motion that asks the court to correct the order.
- I got a notice that the Friend of the Court intercepted my Federal tax refund. However, when I check my account, it does not show that the money has been applied. Why?
First, please understand that the tax offset notice did not come from the local Friend of the Court office. Although your notice from the IRS says that the refund has been intercepted and has been sent to the FOC, this process can take several weeks and the money may not appear in your account for up to six (6) months. When the money is received, it goes to the central disbursement unit in Lansing and not to the local FOC for reimbursement.
- My tax refund was intercepted but the other party hasn’t received anything. Why?
The answer depends on how the tax return was filed and to whom the money is owed. If you filed an individual return, then the refund amount will be applied to your support obligation usually within sixty (60) days. However, if money is owed to the State, then the State receives the money first. This priority is mandated by Federal law. If you filed a joint return with a spouse, the child support enforcement system mandates that this money remain on hold for six months before applying it to your support obligation. This time period is required by law in order to give your spouse time to file an “injured spouse claim” form if he or she does not want his or her portion of the refund to be applied to your child support obligation.
- Can “held” Federal tax refunds be released before the 6 month waiting period is done?