Welcome to the Friend of the Court
The Friend of the Court is part of the 19th Circuit Court and is supervised by the Chief Judge. The office serves the public as well as the Courts in providing the information, education, and services that support decisions that are in the best interest of children. The duties and responsibilities of the office are set forth in the Michigan Statutes. Michigan is unique in that it has the Friend of the Court office dedicated to matters involving child support and families.
Effective October 1st, 2021, the Benzie County Friend of the Court is handling all Paternity and Support Establishment Cases.
Did you know that you can communicate with your Friend of the Court caseworker through the MICASE application? You can ask questions regarding your case and view case information. Convenient case access right from your phone! Follow the tab on the left side of the screen to learn more!
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FOC and Child Protective Services
Sometimes parents get confused when the actions or recommendations of Children's Protective Services(CPS) conflict with the court ordered parenting time that the FOC is enforcing. Both CPS and FOC deal with children, but the agencies have very different roles and responsibilities.
CPS is the agency responsible for investigating the neglect and abuse of children and taking appropriate action to protect any child they find at risk.
FOC is a neutral third-party of the court, whose roles is to assist the court with the enforcement of court orders pertaining to custody, child support, parenting time, and health care. FOC also assists the court in resolving disputes between the parents.
If you suspect abuse or neglect, you should immediately contact the Child Protective Services division of the Department of Health and Human Services at 855-444-3911.
If there is an immediate emergency situation, call 911.