What is a Friend of the Court Referee and what can they do?

A Referee is a person who holds hearings and takes testimony and reports to the Court. A Referee can be either a Friend of the Court or an attorney employed by the Friend of the Court. 

The Chief Judge of a Circuit Court may appoint a Referee to hear any domestic relations matter. A hearing before a Referee is not the same as a hearing before a Judge. The findings of a Referee are only recommendations to the Court, and are not final. These recommendations will become an Order of the Court if neither party files an objection. 

Receiving Reports from Referees

State law requires that any written report and recommended order made by a Referee must be given to the parties and their attorneys before the judge takes any action on the recommendation. If a party disagrees with a Referee's recommendation, he or she has the right to a hearing before the Court. This hearing must be requested in writing within 21 days after receiving the Referee recommendation (request for a hearing on an income withholding order must be made within 14 days). 

Contact the Friend of the Court Office for the address to which the written request for a hearing should be sent.

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1. My order states that I cannot move my children from the state of Michigan without approval of the Court. How do I get the Court's approval?
2. Why won't the Friend of the Court enforce what the Judge said in Court, even if it is not in the written order?
3. Can the Friend of the Court enforce the property settlement provisions contained in my Judgment of Divorce?
4. What is a Friend of the Court Referee and what can they do?
5. What can the Friend of the Court do to find a missing parent?
6. What happens to my child support order and any support that may be owed when children are adopted?