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LEGAL RESOURCES

Friend of the Court (child Support, FOC Pundit, forms), Legal Support (legal search), Michigan Courts (manuals, complaints, the law, court procedure), Parenting Plans

 

FRIEND OF THE COURT

Child Support Guideline
www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/services/focb/mcsf.htm#notice
The Child Support Guideline Manual & and the FOC Child Support Calculator software are available on the SCAO Webpage at the following web address


Michigan State Court Administrative Office Approved Court Forms
Court forms are organized by type of proceeding. To open a specific form, go to Forms <> (PDF files) and follow the instructions, or enter either the form number or key words in the "Search" window above. www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/domesticrelations/drindex.htm
www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/



MiSDU – Michigan State Disbursement Unit
www.misdu.com/Secure/Default.aspx?tabid=1
MiSDU has initiated a program to accept electronic child support payments which are processed in 24 hours. DADS of Michigan PAC has lobbied for this for 4 years. Future improvements expected are web access to child support history. This site provides information about MiSDU and how it will affect you. Read the "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs). The MiSDU is part of the total Child Support System for the State of Michigan. Numbers to call for further information and key DHS contact persons can be found under General Information.


Pundit – Friend of the Court Bureau Newsletter
www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/focbnewsletters/focbnews.htm
The following will contain the quarterly newsletters of the Friend of the Court Bureau communicating the recent developments of the Bureau as well as information about friend of the court activities and information about domestic relations and family law in general.


2002 and 2003 Grievance Reports

www.courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/reports/index.htm#focbrpts
MCL 552.519(d) Annually issue a report containing a detailed summary of the types of grievances received by each office, and whether the grievances are resolved or outstanding. The report shall be transmitted to the legislature and to each office and shall be made available to the public. The annual report required by this subdivision shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(i) An evaluative summary, supplemented by applicable quantitative data, of the activities and functioning of each citizen advisory committee during the preceding year.

(ii) An evaluative summary, supplemented by applicable quantitative data, of the activities and functioning of the aggregate of all citizen advisory committees in the state during the preceding year.

(iii) An identification of problems that impede the efficiency of the activities and functioning of the citizen advisory committees and the satisfaction of the users of the committees’ services.


State Court Administrative Office
http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/
The State Court Administrative Office publishes a wide variety of brochures, pamphlets, court forms, manuals, and other similar publications for use by the courts and the general public. These materials are created by the Friend of the Court Bureau, Foster Care Review Board, Michigan Judicial Institute, Office of Dispute Resolution, and other divisions of the State Court Administrative Office as required by Michigan law and court rules or as it deems advisable. Content covers general and specific information about the judiciary, the courts, court procedures, and legal issues.


Friend of the Court Bureau
Find great information on Custody and Parenting Time
http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/focbnewsletters/august2006pundit.pdf

Michigan is unique among the states because the same office that provides child support services also provides services related to custody and parenting time. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a strong link between custody and parenting time and the payment of support. The State Court Administrative Office website offers a variety of custody and parenting time publications to assist parties and attorneys. Here are brief descriptions of those publications found at the web site http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/services/focb/focb.htm
Find out more about Parenting Time and Custody.


Friend of the Court Bureau
State Court Administrative Office
Michigan Hall of Justice
PO Box 30048
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-5975
FAX: (517) 373-8740
E-Mail: focb@courts.mi.gov

 

LEGAL SUPPORT

All Law Child Support Calculators
www.alllaw.com/calculators/Childsupport
Child support calculators for various states and a variety of legal resources.

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
www.aaml-mich.org
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is an organization of the nation’s top matrimonial attorneys from 47 states who specialize in all issues related to marriage, divorce, annulment, custody, child visitation, property valuation, property distribution, alimony, and child support.

American Bar Association
www.abanet.org/family/familylaw

CLASP the Center for Law and Policy
www.clasp.org
CLASP is a nonprofit public policy and advocacy organization. We conduct research, policy analysis, technical assistance, and advocacy on issues related to economic security and family stability for low-income parents, children, and youth. We analyze proposed federal and state legislation, laws, and regulations. Upon request, CLASP also testifies before Congress and state legislatures. Our analyses, in-depth reports, policy briefs, fact sheets, and testimony are posted on this site, organized by topic area.

Institute of Legal Education
www.icle.org/ScriptContent/ICLE_Index.cfm
ICLE’s mission is to provide Michigan lawyers with accessible, high-quality, continuing legal education and resource materials that enable them to practice law more effectively.

Law Guru
www.lawguru.com
The LawGuru.com Web Site is owned and operated by WebSiteBroker, Inc. a California Corporation. LawGuru.com was originally started in 1996 by a Los Angeles law firm and has evolved into one of the most popular legal web sites on the Internet. It is offered as a free service to the entire Internet Community. Please note that WebSiteBroker, Inc. is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice.

Legal Information Institute – Family educational and privacy rights
assembler.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode20/usc_sec_20_00001232—g000-.html
§ 1232g. Family educational and privacy rights a) Conditions for availability of funds to educational agencies or institutions; inspection and review of education records; specific information to be made available; procedure for access to education records; reasonableness of time for such access; hearings; written explanations by parents; definitions

Martindale Law and Lawyer Locator
www.martindale.com/xp/Martindale/home.xml
Generations of lawyers have relied on Martindale-Hubbell as the authoritative resource for information on the worldwide legal profession. With a history spanning more than 133 years, the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network is currently powered by a database of over one million lawyers and law firms in 160 countries.

Michigan Bar Association
www.michbar.org

PRE PAID Legal
Legal Service Plans Pre-Paid Legal offers Legal Service Plans to provide equal access to all individuals and families. Our service is designed to give immediate access to a quality provider law firm for relatively simple legal problems; or substantial discounts from referral attorneys for more involved legal problems.

Having affordable legal assistance a phone call away to discuss any matter from traffic violations, credit matters, divorce, family court issues, preparation of wills, and much more, is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. When you need legal advice, you have expert legal minds to assist and give peace of mind that your problem is their priority.

To see how a Pre-Paid Legal Plan can benefit you, click here!

Contact Pat McElligott for more information at (734) 240-0225.

State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section
www.michbar.org/family

 

MICHIGAN COURTS

Contact Contacts
This section will provide information on contacting your court.

Oakland County http://www.oakgov.com/circuit/judges/family.html

Contact Directory judges-staff-phone-list.pdf

Custody and Parenting Time Investigation Manual
courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/manuals/focb/cpinvmnl.htm
(hard copies of manual distributed to each friend of the court office)

Handbooks and Manuals
courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/manuals
The following is a list of many of the manuals and handbooks produced and distributed by the SCAO. Most of these manuals and handbooks are designed for a specific audience or for a specific purpose and are distributed to those appropriate court staff or people. They are not generally maintained as "stock items" for public distribution nor are they always available to any court staff or individual who request them.

Some of these manuals are also available below as a PDF file, which requires Acrobat Reader 4.0 in order to view. It is anticipated that more manuals may be made available in the future.

Judicial Complaints
courts.michigan.gov/scao/complaints/index.htm

According to Michigan law, there is a procedure a person must follow when making comments or a complaint about the conduct of a judge or attorney, the friend of the court operation or employee, or other court employee.

Michigan Circuit Court Benchbook
http://courts.michigan.gov/mji/resources/circuit-court/circuit-court-bb.htm
The Michigan Circuit Court Benchbook, by Hon. J. Richardson Johnson, is a quick reference resource for the Circuit Court judge.

Michigan Compiled Law Michigan (MCL)
www.michiganlegislature.org/mileg.asp?page=chapterindex

Search this web site to find Michigan law on family and children issues.  Simply enter your keywords to search the entire MCL.

Michigan Court Rules
courtofappeals.mijud.net/rules/public/default.asp
Published by the Michigan Supreme Court, this document is the primary procedure document for the various Michigan courts. Refer to this document to find in depth policy on court procedures.

Find specific court rules for Judges in Oakland county at the following http://www.oakgov.com/circuit/judges/family.html (find your Judge and select Protocol)

Michigan Court Approved Forms

courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/#indexes
This link provides the home page of (almost) all court forms.

Michigan Court Administration Reference Guide – Volumes 1 and 2
courts.michigan.gov/scao/resources/publications/manuals/carg.htm
This is essential reading for the Pro-Se litigant to understand roles and responsibilities within the court system. Keep in mind that frequently there are local procedures that you should be familiar with. Consult with the local court clerk to insure you are following local procedures.

Michigan Courts:
courts.michigan.gov
This is the data warehouse for the Michigan Courts and provides a wealth of information on the operation of the courts.

Michigan Government
www.michigan.gov
Home page of the Michigan government.

Michigan Trial Court Benchbooks and Publications
http://courts.michigan.gov/mji/resources/publications.htm
The MJI publications team produces and revises trial court benchbooks as part of the MJI’s mission to keep judges and court employees informed of the very latest developments in Michigan law and procedure. Trial court benchbooks are procedural manuals that serve as reference tools for trial court judges, court staff and trial attorneys.

National Center For State Courts (and courts of other countries)
www.ncsconline.org/D_KIS/info_court_web_sites.html
A wealth of information on state and international courts. This page provides judicial branch links for each state, focusing on the administrative office of the courts, the court of last resort, any intermediate appellate courts, and each trial court level.

Sentencing Guidelines
What is your fine or penalty? Here you will find an electronic manual of sentencing guidelines for Michigan.
http://courts.michigan.gov/mji/resources/sentencing-guidelines/sg.htm

 

PARENTING PLANS

A Parenting Agreement is a legal binding contract that has been prepared to inform you of certain rights you may have, and certain procedures that may be involved in a child custody and parenting situation.

The foundation of a strong parenting relationship is developed from a well-structured "Parenting Agreement", or sometimes called a "Parenting Plan". This type of agreement is so useful and effective, that most states have made them mandatory!

A parenting plan is an agreement, in writing, that you can make with the other parent on any aspect of your child’s upbringing. The plan can cover where your children will live, who they can see, their schooling, holidays, religious and medical matters. A parenting plan can help you and the other parent be clear about arrangements for your children.

A Few Reasons to Have a Parenting Agreement!

1. Eliminate any surprises. What is put in writing is understood!

2. If the other parent continuously breaks the agreement, you will have proof that he or she agreed to in writing not do such actions. This will help you if you need to petition the court to have the custody, visitation, or support arrangements modified.

3. As a reference tool to make sure you and your spouse are sticking to the original parenting plan. You will be surprised how quick one or both parents may deviate from the original plan. Sometimes this happens intentionally and not intentionally.

4. Incorporate it as part of your Marital Separation or Settlement Agreement. This way the court will also have a record and a copy of the "Parenting Agreement" as well. This tend to make both parents live up to his or her parenting responsibilities.

The sample parenting plans have been adopted in a variety of states. These may be modified and attached to your divorce decree or introduced to the Friend of the Court to enforce visitation and parenting time. Additional modifications may be made to provide penalties for non-compliance.

The following form many be used to request a modification to parenting time.
foc65 Motion Regarding Parenting Time.pdf

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