Please contact the Friend of the Court at our
new direct phone line
Starting Tuesday, June 1st the Friend of the Court is Open.
No Appointment Needed to Come Into the Building or to the FOC Office
Ottawa County Friend of the Court will continue to schedule virtual appointments. We will call you at
your scheduled appointment time.
Who Is My Investigator?
Online Dispute Resolution
Ottawa Friend of the Court is now offering online dispute resolution for families of Ottawa
Contact the FOC online or by telephone:
Child support payments can be made at:
If you have suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19, please contact your FOC investigator using
one of the methods listed above (phone or MiChildSupport).
Parenting time orders continue in full effect during the
executive order | Spanish
Statement from the Michigan Supreme Court on Matters Concerning Children
FAQs Regarding Custody and Parenting Time During Covid-19 Outbreak
Will a support payer’s stimulus check be intercepted for child
My child is 18 and supposed to graduate in May. Now that the
Governor has ordered that schools cannot be physically open, does my support obligation end
We have been advised by the Federal Office of Child Support that stimulus payments provided under the
CARE (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Pub. L. 116-136) Act will be
intercepted for child support (not spousal support) if the payer owes $150 in past-due
support in TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) cases, or $500 in non-TANF cases.
This is not a local Friend of the Court decision, and we are unable to exempt any
cases. Pursuant to federal rules, the intercepted funds might need to be held for up to
six (6) months before distribution. The FOC is not allowed to disclose the reason for a payment
being held. If you owe past-due support and have filed jointly with a new spouse, your spouse will
need to file an injured spouse form (IRS form 8379) to get back their share of the joint stimulus
when the money is applied to a past-due obligation other the other spouse.
Some child support orders have a date-certain when support will end. If your order has a date-certain,
the date in the order governs notwithstanding the circumstances may be have changed with Executive Order
2020-35. The EO offers school districts an array of methods to continue education even though buildings
are physically closed. If your support order doesn’t have a specific termination date, many continue
support for a child age 18 or older (but not exceeding 19 ½) for so long as the child “is regularly
attending high school on a full-time basis with a reasonable expectation of completing sufficient
credits to graduate from high school while residing on a full-time basis with the recipient of support…”
Although your child may not be physically in a classroom, it is up to the individual school districts to
determine what still constitutes “attending.” Attendance may include virtual learning. Therefore, the
FOC will continue to apply the 2019-2020 school calendar as though school is in normal session. If you
child is 18 and is expected to graduate this year in May or June, child support will continue until the
last day of the month of graduation. Parties may reach agreement on a termination date of child support
but those agreements must be in writing and filed with the court to be enforced. If the parties disagree
with the FOC’s interpretation of their child support order termination date based on their case-specific
circumstances, either party may file a motion with the court.
If you wish to file a motion, but are unable to do so because you do not have the technology available to
use the MiFile (e-filing) portal, please complete the motion (in the FOC FORMS section) and mail it with the
request for exemption from e-filing form to the Ottawa
County Clerk’s office. Motions are still being scheduled for hearing, however, those hearings are now
being conducted by telephone /ZOOM. Please be sure to include telephone and email contacts in motion
24 Hour access to your case
Text your Investigator
To administer justice and restore wholeness in a manner that inspires public
The Friend of the Court Office is part of the 20th Judicial Circuit
Court - Family Division (herein referred to as "Family Court") and is
responsible for protecting the rights and interests of the children in
domestic relations matters.
The Friend of the Court Office has the
following statutory duties:
- To investigate, report, and recommend to the Family Court which parent should have custody of minor
- To enforce all child support orders, including medical
support orders, entered by the Family Court.
- To insure that children's rights to parenting time with the
non-custodial parents are protected, and to enforce parenting time
rights ordered by the Family Court when parenting time is denied.
20th Circuit Friend of the Court
Alternative Dispute Resolution Plan
Friend of the Court is under the leadership of:
- Jennell L. Challa, Friend of the Court
- Matthew J. Schmid, Assistant Friend of the Court - Field Services
- Kathy E. Covington, Assistant Friend of the Court - Internal Operations