Our Office is prohibited by law from providing legal advice. We are happy to provide you with Court procedural information. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney or refer to our list of legal self-help resources.
Start a Custody Case
$255 Filing Fee (Includes FOC fee)
- Summons & Complaint
- Original for Clerk’s Office
- One copy for Judge (if Plaintiff is seeking ex parte orders)
- Two copies to return to filer
- Verified Statement (original only)
- Domestic Relations Judgment Information Form (only if ex parte orders are being sought)
- B-42 Record of Divorce or Annulment (original only)
Change a Custody Order
Parents or guardians who are looking to modify an existing child custody order can file a Custody Motion. Follow the instructions below.
Motion Filing Instructions
- Call our Office at (517) 546-9816 to schedule a hearing date and time before the Friend of the Court Referee.
- Complete SCAO Form FOC 87 Custody Motion.
- Complete Praecipe for FOC Referee (see Forms page)
- Make two copies of both the completed motion (FOC 65) and the Praecipe. One copy set to serve on other party, and one copy set for yourself. If you need to make copies at the Clerk’s Office, you will be charged $1.50 per page.
- Complete the Circuit Court Praecipe, Proof of Service, and Motion and Notice of Hearing (see Forms page).
- File all of the above with the Clerk at 204 S. Highlander Way, Suite 4, Howell, MI 48843.
- If filing by mail, you must provide a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of your copies.
- Serve a copy of the motion and praecipe on the other party by either:
- First Class US Mail or
- Personal service
- Be sure to complete the Certificate of Mailing at the bottom of the Custody Motion, and make sure you have filed the completed Certificate of Mailing with the court. If the Certificate of Mailing is not completed, your motion may not be heard.
If multiple motions are being filed at the same time in the same case, only a single motion filing fee will be charged and applied to all motions. The filing fee will be in the amount of the highest chargeable motion fee.
Post Judgment Cases (Includes FOC Fee)
Open Pending Cases
Fee Waiver Requests
If you are indigent or receiving public assistance you may be eligible to have your fees waived. To apply for a fee waiver please complete the Waiver/Suspension of Fees and Costs (Affidavit and Order) and submit it with your motion. You must check back with the Clerk to see if the Judge granted or denied your request to have fees waived.