Who’s Who and What do They Do in a Family/Divorce Action? | Michigan Divorce Attorney
Who’s the Plaintiff?
The Plaintiff is the party who starts the suit by filing the Complaint. The Defendant is the opposing party. The divorce or family case is resolved by the Family Court Division in the Circuit Court for the County in which you reside.
What is Role does the Friend of the Court Play in a Michigan Divorce?
At some point, you may be required to seek the assistance of a “Friend of the Court.” The Friend of the Court is part of the family court that investigates issues surrounding child support, child custody, and parenting time and makes a recommendation. They also collect and distribute support payments and may request the enforcement of court orders for support and parenting time. The recommendations of the Friend of the Court are helpful in resolving some of the issues surrounding the minor children. These recommendations will be made available to the Judge and the Judge may use these recommendations in his/her own decision-making.
What Role does the Referee Play?
You may also come into contact with a referee at some point if you or your spouse files a motion. Referees aid the Judge by hearing certain matters and by making recommendations concerning special or complicated issues. At the conclusion of the hearing, the referee will make a recommendation that will become an Order if both parties consent. If the parties do not consent to the Referee’s recommendation, they will go before the Judge for the Judge’s decision.
What Role does the Judge Play in a Divorce?
The Judge is the person assigned to address certain issues and decide your case if the parties cannot come to an agreement about the case. Parties cannot select a Judge; it is a random assignment. Judges are human, and even though they must apply the same law to everyone, every Judge handles a situation differently than another Judge. Once you know your Judge, we will be able to provide you with some insight as to how your Judge handles certain issues. Knowing the Judge’s preferences can help determine which battles to fight.
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