The Oakland County Friend of the Court (FOC) consists of a group of attorneys, counselors and support staff which assist the court in cases involving minor children or support by providing a formal (or informal) dispute resolution service including custody and support valuations. Another important function of the FOC is to conduct an Early Intervention Conference.
An Early Intervention Conference is a required hearing and is informal in nature. The hearing includes an introduction to the FOC staff, services and support programs. In addition, the conference provides an opportunity to address pressing issues early and provide a schedule for future hearings and discovery.
The Early Intervention Conference is currently being conducted using video conferencing. In cases divorce cases or custody cases, the participants are directed to attend a S.M.I.L.E. conference. S.M.I.L.E. is an acronym for Start Making it Livable for Everyone and is a virtual presentation addressing many of the common pitfalls in divorce, including after divorce effective parenting and the importance of fostering and encouraging a good parent-child relationship with the other parent. Some clients have compared the S.M.I.L.E. conference as traffic school for parents (with minor children) going through divorce or a custody dispute.
The following documents need to be completed and turned in prior to the Early Intervention Conference (assistance is provided by your attorney):
- EIC Information Form
- Application for IV-D Child Support Services
- Domestic Violence Screening Form
- Direct Deposit Authorization Form
For additional information regarding the services offered by the Oakland County Friend of the Court you can consult the Friend of the Court Handbook.
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