What are... Domestic Relations

DOMESTIC RELATIONS are court proceeding involving divorce, paternity, or adoptions.  With minor children in divorce and paternity matters, custody, parenting time and child support are established and enforced. Property division and spousal support are determined in all divorce proceedings.  Before a divorce may be entered there is 6-month waiting period in cases involving minor children and a 2-month waiting period in cases without minor children. The time begins to run once the Complaint for Divorce is filed.

The County Clerk is the keeper of the file for all Domestic Relations cases. Contact the County Clerk for questions pertaining to Domestic Relations proceedings at (231) 256-9824.

Michigan law created Friend of the Court offices in 1919. At least one office serves each Circuit Court’s Family Division. Friend of the Court offices have the following statutory responsibilities and duties:

  • When parents cannot agree, or when directed by the Judge, to conduct investigations and make recommendations to the Court regarding:
    • Child support (including medical support)
    • Custody
    • Parenting time
  • To offer mediation, when both parents agree to participate, as an alternative to litigation.
  • To enforce the orders of the Court regarding custody, parenting time, and child support.

The main office of the Friend of the Court is in Traverse City at Their telephone number is 231-922-4660. They are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM until 5:00 PM. While you can visit their office during office hours to make payments, obtain forms, drop off documents, and receive general information, you will not be able to meet with your case manager without an appointment.

The Friend of the Court caseworker for Leelanau County is usually at the Probate/Family Division Court at the Leelanau Government Center on Wednesday mornings. An appointment is strongly encouraged.  Call 231-922-4660.

Helpful information regarding the Friend of the Court may be found HERE.

This page last updated on 5/6/2022.