After the Friend of the Court makes a recommendation, either party may request a de novo hearing or a hearing “from the beginning” with the trial court judge. This right is codified in Michigan Compiled Laws section 552.507(4).
Under MCL 552.507(4), if a party timely objects to a referee’s recommendation, the trial court “shall hold a de novo hearing.” The Michigan Court of Appeals further decided that a trial court cannot simply review the record created at the referee hearing, however the trial court can impose reasonable restrictions on duplicative evidence (e.g. only allowing new evidence).
The Friend of the Court Referee A Friend of the court referee is appointed by the chief Judge to assist in Michigan divorce, custody and domestic relations cases. A Michigan Friend of the Court Referee power is defined in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.507. Michigan law (MCL 552.507) provides that a Friend of the Court[…]