An Alternative Dispute Resolution is a process to help parents be the decision makers for their children. It is believed that when parents make decisions concerning the best interests of their children, agreements are more likely to be followed, and parents are more likely to resolve future issues without court intervention. This process allows parents, not a third party or a Judge to make decisions that are personal and that directly affect the growth and development of their children.
By Michigan law the Friend of the Court is required to provide mediation services. If a dispute arises and the parties need assistance to resolve the issues, Formal Mediation can be requested. These services are voluntary; both parties must be willing to participate. If parties are able to reach an agreement, the mediator can prepare a consent order. The mediator is an employee of the Friend of the Court who has at least 5 years of experience as a caseworker and has participated in mediator training through the Michigan Judicial Institute. The Friend of the Court Mediator cannot have provided previous investigative or enforcement services on the case. All information provided to the mediator is confidential and not available to anyone or the court.
If parties choose to modify the court order and are in agreement they can schedule an appointment for informal mediation with the Enforcement Worker to prepare a consent order. The Enforcement Worker will discuss all aspects of the modification with the parties and prepare the court order. Once signed by the parties and the Judge, the order is filed with the County Clerk’s Office and is effective upon entry.
Parties can also send in written agreements to the Friend of the Court and request a court order to be drafted. The agreement should contain: both parties names, the case number, the agreement, the effective date, the children’s names, and both parties’ signatures. Upon completion the order is sent to both parties for review. If neither party objects, the order is entered after 7 days. Certain agreements can not be entered into through a consent order. It is important that you contact the Enforcement Caseworker to discuss your request prior to drafting the agreement. This is a service offered by the Barry County Friend of the Court and the Barry County Friend of the Court reserves the right not to process agreements.
Page Last Modified: May 16, 2008 at 9:56 am