My story goes back to 1996 when my wife left me for another woman. At the time we had one grown and three younger children still living at home. I knew nothing about the friend of the court system until I filed for divorce. When we first met at the friend of the court Mary Wilson the friend of the court facilitator bent over back words to describe to my soon to be ex what she needed to do in reporting to the foc office. At first I had custody of the children and was alloted about $60.00 a week for support. My ex came back I believe before our divorce was final and sought custody of my children. My older son decided he wanted to live with me but was still in school. My younger daughter and son I was told after talking to the judge--both supposedly wanted to go live with their mother and that I should do what was right and go by the wishes of my two younger children. The day my ex and I meet regarding her seeking custody--Mary Wilson the foc facilitator inferred I wasn't a good parent--they had actually bought one of the school teachers into the situation claiming I was not a good parent. Before this the school had contacted me and wanted to meet with me claiming my younger son was having they felt behavioral problems in school and it was effecting his learning. I told them that if the teacher did their job and took time with him he wouldnt have any learning problems. The teacher had made the comment that she had 24 children in her class and didn't have the time to take out for each child individually. To make it short, at this meeting with Mary Wilson over my ex getting custody of our two youngest children this is what was used against me she in fact that very day stamped the judges signature to a court order--ordering that my ex get custody of our two youngest children that very day before the judge even heard the so called issues. My wife got the custody of my two youngest children and even though my older son still going to school and living with me at home my ex got to the tune of about $146.00 a week for support. I then petitioned to get this lower since I still had my older son living with me and still going to school. This was denied because my son wasnt attending an accredit school they claim. The school was adult ed which in fact was an accredited school and my son eventually graduated but I was denied getting the support lowered and in fact the judge ruled an extra $5.00 a week on top of that because my son who resided with me went over to his moms two nights a week and stayed to help get my younger children off to class. My daughter got pregnant before she was 16 dropped out of school. The week after my daughter got married--yes she married the father--my ex and my daughter took the marriage certificate down to the Ionia foc but they refused to acknowledge it claiming since I was the payee I had to report that my self before they dropped her support. Since then I have been paying $62.00 a week for my one son left in school. At one time the Ionia foc office sent me a show cause letter asking why I quit paying support even though my employer kept taking it out and mailing it in all along. I contacted my human resources and had them get copies of the checks that was mailed to the Ionia foc for the previous months. The copies showed the checks sent to the foc were cashed around two days after they were sent--and deposited into a local bank in Ionia. I took copies of these checks and wrote a letter and contacted the judge about it--and it was dropped--I also gave copies to my ex. I was referred to as a loser by the Ionia Friend of the Court as a dead beat. Lately I have been watching my two older sons go through the same nightmares. My one son recently spent one week in jail for non payment of child support because he was currently unemployed and was charged a rental rate each day he was in the jail on top of his child support. My other son currently has a bench warrent out for non payment even though his separation started in Florida and his child still lives there with their ex mom. He has tried calling to talk to his child on severl occasions and the mothers phone number was changed etc. He had been accused of being an abusive father and husband by his ex even though he was not. He worked and made more money at the time than she did. He found out the friend of the court in Ionia collecting for foc in Florida that his taxes from last year have already been taken--and that he needs to cough up $2,600.00 more or the bench warrant still stands. The $710.00 from his federal taxes made no difference and when he has confronted the Ionia Friend of the Court office about his lack of visitation it was brushed under the rug. I want to let everyone know that there is a Ms Carol Rhodes in Michigan who wrote a book entitled Friend of the Court Enemy of the Family where she exposes the corrupt Friend of the Court system in Michigan. You can watch a video of one of her speechs in Washington DC on you tube. Just search for Carol Rhodes. I believe we all need to take a stand possibly file a class action suit against the Friend of the Court System. As Carol Rhodes explained in the video its all about money--it has nothing to do with the well fare of the children or the family. Carol Rhodes worked for 20 years as an foc enforcement worker and finally decided to speak out. Any one else who has similar problems with the foc I would truly like to hear from. Thank you for taking the time to hear parts of my problems with the Ionia Friend of the Court.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wayne County Friend of the Court