What is the Friend of the Court office?
This message describes the duties of the Friend of the Court office in general terms. If you have an existing case with the Friend of the Court, and you want specific case information, please call the Friend of the Court office where your case is located.
The Friend of the Court office is a division of the circuit court, and there is at least one office for each circuit court in the state. The Friend of the Court office was created to assist the court in divorce and related cases. Generally, Friend of the Court involvement is limited to the areas of child custody, parenting time and support.
The Friend of the Court is responsible for the following specific duties:
First, the Friend of the Court investigates and makes recommendations on child custody, parenting time and support to the circuit court judge.
Second, the Friend of the Court initiates enforcement of the court's orders regarding custody, parenting time and support.
Third, unless otherwise ordered, support is paid through the Friend of the Court. If child support payments are late or overdue, the Friend of the Court will initiate enforcement action. The most common method of collecting support is through automatic income withholding where support payments are deducted directly from the paycheck of the support payer. Other methods of support enforcement include taking a payer's federal and state income tax refund and applying it to the child support arrearage, supplying arrearage information to credit reporting agencies, suspending driver's and occupational licenses and petitioning for an order to show cause requiring the payer to appear in court for non-payment.
The Friend of the Court is required by law to charge a yearly fee which is to be paid by the person ordered to pay child support.
The Friend of the Court handbook is available from your local Friend of the Court office.

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