One of the first actions by a family law court once divorce papers for a couple with children have been filed is to schedule a conciliation conference with your local FOC.
Your local FOC staff will be only too kind to make you well aware of child support!!
In this meeting, the FOC conciliator/investigator is required, under Michigan law (MCL 552.505(g)) to "investigate all relevant facts...regarding child custody or parenting time, or both..."
What the FOC WILL investigate is whatever they wish to. They will listen to whomever they wish to (usually the mother), and ignore and silence whomever they wish to (usually the father). They will happily take the word of others who benefit and profit from this abusive system, including psychologists, social workers, and others who do not know you or your children, and who all claim to know "what is best" for your children.
Your local FOC is also required, under MCL 552.505(b), to "inform each party to the domestic relations matter that, unless one of the parties is required to participate in the Title IV-D child support program, they may direct the office of the friend of the court to close the (FOC) case".
Your FOC conciliator has to choose one parent to be the custodial, the other (about 85% of the time the father) will be the non-custodial.
If this is not done, no Title IV-D money will be forthcoming to that county and the state from that divorce/custody action. Obviously, if the couple knows about the FOC "opt-out", they may choose that option, leaving the FOC staff with no profit from that custody action.
In my personal case, the conciliator told me "that's very annoying" when I tried to inject facts and the truth into the conversation. She also added, several times, "that doesn't matter". The conciliator in the case did NOT investigate all of the relevant facts. In fact, she investigated NONE of the facts or the issues I brought up.
I have personally spoken with other, amicably divorcing couples with children, who entered their conciliation with an agreed upon parenting plan and details, including support, only to have the plans ignored and tossed out by the FOC with the words "someone HAS to pay child support". In two of these cases, the parents had agreed that there would be NO child support exchanged between them. When they walked out, both fathers had been made a non-custodial and told to pay up.
Is this gender bias against the father?
Sure it is.
You can file a grievance against your FOC staff for "gender bias", and they will simply say it was not. That is the end of that issue, as far as the FOC is concerned.
Michigan family law court judges routinely "rubber stamp" their FOC recommendations.
Their bottom line?
Michigan's family law court system cares not about any child suffering from a divorce situation. They do care about how much profit they can rake in from that case. They do care about forcing one parent from the life of that child, because that brings in money!! They do care about limiting the time the child has with one of his or her parents, because that increases the Title IV-D funds coming in.
Therefore, if an essentially needed and common sense piece of legislation such as House Bill 4564, The Equal Parenting Bill was passed, this would seriously curtail the federal funds coming in from custody cases.
Michigan's family court judges, FOC staff members, plus all the family law attorneys and others who profit from the destruction of our families can't have that now, can they? They would all rather increase the anger and the tension between divorcing couples with children, increase the litigation time, and maximise the litigation and federal incentive fund dollars flowing to all those involved.
Your local FOC staff has no interest in dealing with matters of "denial of parenting time". Again, the more time a child is with the non-custodial parent, the fewer the dollars that come in to the system.
Your local FOC will make a fit, willing, and able parent into a mere visitor in the lives of his children, and may even be so kind as to back-date the order for you, so you will owe hundreds or even thousands of dollars when you leave your conciliation. You may even be a felon already!!
Divorced non-custodials, you will be made very well "aware" of child support!!
A Father Of Two.
"It's billions of dollars. It's far beyond what the mafia ever did."