Due to COVID-19, the Tuscola County Courts are currently closed to the public. For access to a hearing, please call the court administrator at 989-672-3807 during business hours to arrange accommodations.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Tuscola County Friend of the Court (FOC) office will be closed to the public. We hope to return to normal operations on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. However, FOC staff will continue to offer very limited services during this time. You may contact us using the following methods:
Many parents have questions about how the Governor’s “stay home" order affects parenting time exchanges. The Governor’s order specifically says that individuals may travel to transport their children according to their custody order/agreement (see Executive Order No. 2020-21 sec. 7(b)(4)). As such, parents should follow their parenting time schedule as ordered unless both parents agree to change it
Many parents also have questions about what schedule to follow since schools are closed. Again, parents should follow their court ordered schedule as though the original school calendar remains in effect. We recognize this might not make sense in every situation so it’s important for parents to try to work together to resolve their parenting time issues. If parents are unable to resolve these issues, please contact FOC for assistance.
If you would like to make a support payment, please check out our “Make A Payment” page on our website at https://www.tuscolacounty.org/courts/friend-of-the-court.php or visit the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) at www.misdu.com You can also access your case information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by signing up with MiCase at www.michigan.gov/micase
If an emergency arises and one parent needs to directly give the other parent cash for child support, please ask the receiving parent to write a receipt that is both signed and dated. Receipts can be forwarded to the FOC so we can process an adjustment to the account balance.
If you have lost your job or your income has significantly changed and you need your child support reviewed, please either call or email FOC so a child support review can be started. Alternatively, if parents have reached an agreement regarding child support, please contact FOC for assistance in modifying your court order.
Except for emergency hearings, all FOC hearings scheduled through Monday, April 13, 2020, are in the process of being adjourned to May, 2020. Look for a notice of adjournment in the mail that will provide information about your new hearing date.
FOC APPROVAL OF COURT ORDERS AS TO FORM:
Until the court resumes normal operations, the FOC is waiving the requirement that court orders are “approved as to form” prior to filing.
Given the rapidly evolving situation, please consider checking the following resources to determine what services are available:
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.Sandy Erskine,
There are several ways to contact the Friend of the Court:
Friend of the Court is located on the 1st floor of the Tuscola County Courthouse:
440 North State Street
Caro, Michigan 48723
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Referee Division hears motions for changes to custody, parenting time, domicile and child support. It is located in the basement of the Tuscola County Court House
Enforcement Specialists are assigned to cases based on the father's last name. Contact your Enforcement Specialist if you have questions regarding show cause hearings, income withholding notices, employer related questions,or any other question related to enforcement.
If you have an interstate case and need information regarding the status of your case or have questions regarding medical enforcement contact the Interstate/MedicalSpecialist at the phone number listed below.
The Bench Warrant Specialist primarily handles questions regarding outstanding bench warrants and is also responsible for locating individuals whose address is unknown.
If you have questions pertaining to a recommendation for child custody and/or parenting time or you need information regarding enforcement of your custody/parenting time order, contact the Family Coordinator at the phone number below.
For questions regarding the SMILE Program or to schedule a "Joint Meeting" contact our Program Coordinator at the phone number below.
The Support Analyst is responsible for initiating child support reviews and making recommendations for modifications of new and existing child support orders.
Contact the Accounting Department if you have accounting, foster care, or general questions related to payments made and credits received.
A Friend of the Court Enforcement Specialist is available to assist you when you have questions regarding enforcement of your child support order. Although the Friend of the Court cannot act as your attorney, we will try to assist you by answering questions and taking appropriate enforcement actions.
A few things to keep in mind:
Bench warrants are issued when a party fails to appear for a scheduled hearing. The purpose of a bench warrant is to bring a party before the court. If you have an outstanding warrant, Friend of the Court will attempt to work with you to resolve this matter before you are arrested. If either party has questions regarding bench warrants, please contact the Bench Warrant Specialist - 989-673-4848 ext.3226 to discuss your options.
All domestic relations orders are required by law to contain a provision for health insurance for the parties' minor child(ren). This provision often states that parents must obtain insurance through their employer if insurance is available at a "reasonable cost". When a party is ordered to provide health insurance, Friend of the Court will send a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to the party's employer. However, depending on the party's income and the cost of insurance, the party may or may not be required to carry insurance. If you believe that your employer's insurance is too expensive and therefore not reasonable, you should contact the Friend of the Court. A Friend of the Court caseworker will be able to help you calculate what is a reasonable cost for health insurance coverage based on your income.
Often times, parties incur medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. You may request the assistance of a caseworker at the Friend of the Court to get reimbursement for your child's uninsured health care expenses. If your court order was entered after October 1, 2004, your order will likely include an "Ordinary Medical Expense" provision (OME). The custodial parent/payee will typically have to show proof that the annual OME amount has been spent before being allowed to request additional medical contributions from the non-custodial parent/payor. Once the yearly OME amount has been exceeded, custodial parent/payee may then request reimbursement using the medical demand form according to the percentages set forth in your court order. (See the "Forms" page).
989-673-4848 ext. 3215
There are three ways to have a child support order reviewed for possible modification:
The Friend of the Court is required to review the issue of support when any of the following circumstances exist:
If you have questions regarding a support review, you may contact the Friend of the Court's Support Analyst at 989-673-4848 ext. 3217.
Friend of the Court assists parties in enforcing parenting time orders only through written request. If you have a court order for parenting time and the other party is not complying with the court's order, you may file a Parenting Time Complaint. Please remember that Friend of the Court can only enforce written court orders. Friend of the Court cannot enforce private agreements made by the parties.
Often times, modifying custody/parenting time orders can be a complicated issue because certain proofs must be made to the court before the court will modify a custody/parenting time order. You may wish to discuss this issue with an attorney to determine how best to proceed. Also, you may wish to review our "Useful Links" page for additional legal resources.
If parties have reached an agreement regarding a modification to their custody/parenting time order, they may enter into a consent agreement.
If parties have attempted to privately resolve their issues but are unable to do so, Friend of the Court may be able to help. Parties may contact Friend of the Court to set up a "joint meeting" with our parenting time coordinator. At this meeting, parties will be given an opportunity to discuss their respective issues in an attempt to reach an agreement. Friend of the Court will only schedule a joint meeting if BOTH parties are willing to attending.
If you have general questions about your custody/parenting time order, or you would like to schedule a joint meeting, please contact Friend of the Court's Parenting Time Coordinator atext. 3212.
For a copy of the Tuscola County Friend of the Court Parenting Time Guidelines please click here.
The Domestic Relations Referee assists the Family Division judge by holding hearings and issuing recommendations regarding child support, custody, parenting time and requests for changes of domicile.
The Tuscola County Domestic Relations Referee Division is located at:440 N. State Street
Phone Number: 989-673-4848 ext. 3200