I get asked often about the process for hearing Motions in Livingston County. When someone files a Motion that has to do with Custody, Parenting Time or Support, the Judge assigns the case to be heard by a FOC Referee. The Referee first conducts a Screening Hearing. At the Screening Hearing the Referee attempts to determine if the issue can be resolved by agreement or whether an Evidentiary Hearing is required. The Referee may also determine that the matter should be referred for an investigation. Ultimately, if the parties cannot come to an agreement, the Referee will conduct an Evidentiary Hearing which is handled just like a trial. At the end of that hearing the Referee will issue a Recommendation and both sides will have 21 days to object if they are not happy with the Recommendation. If there is an Objection, the matter will be heard by the presiding Judge who will ultimately decide the issue. The process is complicated and it is a big mistake to try and prosecute or defend a Motion on your own. Call me, I can help.

Michael Olson is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.

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