Michigan law requires friend of the court (FOC) offices to distribute “do-it-yourself” forms (often called “pro se” or “in pro per” packets) to people who are interested in representing themselves in a child support, parenting time, or custody matter.
These forms may be used to modify existing court orders. They may not be used in establishing a case.
Where do I get “do-it-yourself” motion forms?
For domestic relations cases that involve children, the FOC office responsible for your specific case can provide the forms and instructions to assist you in asking the court to change a child support, parenting time, or custody order.
Once I have the “do-it-yourself” motion forms packet, may I ask the FOC or the court clerk for help or advice?
Court staff is not permitted to give legal advice, nor can court staff tell you how to fill out your forms. The FOC staff can give you information about your current order and can tell you who to contact to obtain a court hearing. The court clerk will give you basic information about how to schedule a hearing and where the hearing will be held.
Do courts charge a fee for filing a motion?
Yes. For most domestic relations matters, the court clerk will charge a $20 motion fee. In an action that concerns the custody or parenting time of minor children, an $80 fee will also be assessed. In actions that involve only the financial support of a minor, a $40 fee will be assessed in addition to the motion fee. In actions where both the custody or parenting time and support will be determined, an $80 fee will be assessed in addition to the motion fee. If you cannot pay this fee, you may ask the clerk for “Form MC20,” which allows you to ask the court to waive the fee so that you don’t have to pay it.
Once I file my motion, who serves the required documents on the other party?
If you use the “do-it-yourself” forms, you must send the other party a copy of the form containing the motion and hearing date. There are many ways to deliver the documents to the other party. Regular first-class mail is the most frequently used and the least expensive method.
Who represents me at the motion hearing? Can the referee or judge help me?
You may hire an attorney or you may represent yourself. If you decide to represent yourself, you must come prepared to explain what you are asking the court to change, and the reasons why the court should decide in your favor. This may also require that you understand court rules and procedures. Proving your case may require that you present evidence (testimony or documents) to the court. Neither a referee nor a judge may help you present your case.
What if the other party has an attorney? Can I get someone to help me?
The fact that the other party appears with an attorney does not entitle you to one. The court might reschedule the hearing to a later date if you say that the presence of counsel for the other side has caused you to change your decision to represent yourself, but the court is not obligated to delay the case for that reason.
What if I do not agree with the referee’s or judge’s decision?
A referee makes a recommendation; only a judge can sign a court order. If you disagree with the referee’s recommendation, you have 21 days to request a review hearing before a judge. The referee or FOC office will provide you with information on how to do that. If you disagree with a judge’s decision, you may appeal to a higher court or file a motion to have the matter reconsidered by the same judge.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit must be filed with EVERY motion regarding custody or parenting time. That form is found here:
IN PRO PER FORMS
These are Friend of the Court forms for use by citizens/individuals in PDF format for the most commonly requested actions.
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2021 DOMESTIC RELATIONS MOTION SCHEDULE
2021 MOTION DAY CALENDAR
All original motions are scheduled before the Referee FIRST.
DeNovo hearing requests are scheduled before the Court.
HONORABLE AARON GAUTHIER, P60364 (11:00am)
Monday, January 4, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Monday, February 22, 2021
Monday, March 15, 2021
Monday, April 5, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
Monday, June 7, 2021
Monday, June 28, 2021
Monday, July 12, 2021
Monday, July 26, 2021
Monday, August 9, 2021
Monday, August 30, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
Monday, October 11, 2021
Monday, November 8, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Monday, December 13, 2021
HONORABLE DARYL VIZINA, P68201 (9:00am)
Monday, January 11, 2021
Monday, February 8, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
Monday, June 21, 2021
Monday, July 19, 2021
Monday, August 23, 2021
Monday, September 20, 2021
Monday, October 18, 2021
Monday, November 15, 2021
Monday, December 6, 2021
REFEREE BRUCE CRANHAM, P28554 (11:00am)
All Referee hearing dates must be obtained by calling or visiting the Friend of the Court office when you are on the final step to file your motion with the County Clerk. There are two days available each month with limited time slots with a first come first serve basis and it is based on availability of time slots at filing. Currently, and for the foreseeable future, all Referee hearing dates and times will be available via ZOOM.
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM