Ninth Judicial Circuit Court
FRIEND OF THE COURT HANDBOOK - ACCOUNTING
Payment records are maintained by the FOC. Transaction histories (a multi-year record of financial payments received and distributed) are maintained on microfiche for transactions before May 4, 1999. Requests for a transaction history must be in writing. There may be a charge for this service. Requests for current account records (case status report or printout), if made in writing, should include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Case status reports may be obtained immediately upon request by coming to the FOC information counter, Room 407, County Administration Building or by calling the FOC at (269) 384-8200. You may also send your request by e-mail to FOC@kalcounty.com.
Audits and Appointments
Parties are encouraged to keep a record of charges, payments and credits. If your records indicate that FOC account records are incorrect, you may request in writing the transaction history of your case and compare it to your records using the eight helpful hints below. Requests should be sent to the Customer Service Department of the FOC, or e-mailed to FOC@kalcounty.com.
If the FOC records and your records do not agree, you may submit a written request for an audit of your account. Many questions can be answered by an audit without an appointment. If the transaction history, your records, and the audit still do not agree, request an appointment with the FOC auditor. A subsequent audit will not be conducted within 18 months of an audit unless error by the FOC can be determined.
Examples of documents that should be brought to the appointment include: receipts, canceled checks or check stubs to show how much you paid or received; legal documentation of marriages, deaths, military service, emancipation of minor or graduation from high school; documentation of parenting time credits; and other relevant matters.
Helpful Hints - Did you:
- Fail to include extra money to cover payment of the monthly service fees (this is $3.50 per month)?
- Forget that payments were not made during a vacation or other period when income was interrupted (layoff, strike, etc.), and that no extra money was later sent in to catch up the missed payments? This frequently occurs in cases in which an Order of Income Withholding is in effect.
- Fail to pay support when the child is with the payer (parenting time)? Few Judgments of Divorce or other court orders provide that support will completely abate (be stopped or discontinued) during parenting time.
This means the payer is liable for the support and the FOC must continue to charge the support account the regular amount even during those periods. If the recipient of support is willing to grant a credit for a specific dollar amount for a specific period of time, in writing, the court may grant the credit. If parenting time credits have been specified in your Judgment, failure to provide the FOC with the actual parenting time dates within 6 months will also cause problems.
- Make support payments directly to the recipient instead of through MiSDU? If support is ordered payable throught the FOC, then payments must only be made to MiSDU.
- Fail to inform your attorney that adjustments should be made in the final Judgment of Divorce because the parties attempted a reconciliation during which period the support should have been suspended?
- Misunderstand the billing period? All support is due on the first day of the month, and the computer system automatically bills the accounts on that day.
- Assume that because an Income Withholding Order had been ordered that you were not
responsible for support payments until the IWO took effect? Payments must be made by you from
the date the support order is effective until support starts to be automatically withheld from
your paycheck. It may take several weeks from the time support is ordered until an income
withholding order becomes effective. Payers need to make manual payments, until any Income
Withholding takes effect. You need to coordinate termination of your manual payments with the
date that automatic payments start, with your employer's payroll contact.
- Fail to consider the semi-annual surcharge required to be assessed on overdue support? See the Support Orders - Surcharge section for details.