Divorce in Michigan with minor children but without Friend of the Court
September 23, 2013 4:51 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are getting divorced. We have three minor children. We will be sharing custody and time with the children equally. Neither of us wants child support from the other, we have comparable incomes, and we do not want Friend of the Court involved. The divorce is uncontested and we are trying to use LawHelpInteractive.Org (it was linked by the Circuit Court) to fill out the paperwork. The paperwork it generates seems to include Friend of the Court by default and I can't figure out how to get Friend of the Court out of it. Can I file as is and file the opt out paperwork separately after the case is created?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (5 answers total)
This is important enough that it would be worth your while to spend the $200 it would cost to consult with a good attorney.
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 PM on September 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

Michigan court rules specifically permit parties to opt out of the FOC program, which you already know. There is a form, which your county's FOC Bureau will have, that you need to sign. The court has to approve the opt-out form because there are statutory requirements that must be filled before opt-out can be permitted, which is why you can't keep the FOC out from the get-go.

i'm not your lawyer; this is not legal advice. Someone at the FOC Bureau in your county will have better information.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:07 PM on September 23, 2013

IAAL in Michigan but IANYL or your wife's lawyer and this is not legal advice.

As long as neither of you rely on public services, you can opt out. There is a box to check to opt out on one of the forms (divorce forms aren't online through the main court system, as they vary by jurisdiction. Take the paperwork you have to the court clerk, in person, and ask how exactly to opt out of FOC in your jurisdiction.
posted by mibo at 6:27 PM on September 23, 2013

I did just this 2 years ago. Divorced with 2 kids, me and the ex did it ourselves and opted out of the friend of the court business. I have all the forms (I scanned them before filling them out). There are different ones for opting out with kids. Everything went smoothly, we are still good friends and awesome co-parents. I know this is not the norm, but its possible.

Memail me if you want specifics, have questions or would like a copy of the forms.
posted by bleucube at 5:42 AM on September 24, 2013

Oh I'm in Michigan and filed in Michigan too (Live in Lansing).
posted by bleucube at 5:43 AM on September 24, 2013

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