Child Custody Motion

When filing a Motion or Complaint for Custody in Charlevoix, who is involved?

A child custody motion is filed with the Charlevoix County Circuit Court Clerk.  A filing fee of $100 must be paid if the file is already open.  If the file is being opened, the filing fee is $175.

In Charlevoix County, Cheryl (Cherie) Potter Browe is the County Clerk.  Sharron Selissen-Kallman is the Deputy Civil Court Clerk, which means she is in charge of the civil cases.  Custody cases are civil cases.  However, anyone of the very nice people that work in the clerk’s office may take the paperwork that you bring and file it, providing you with a receipt for the money and as many copies as you need.  Don’t bother bringing copies anymore.  The county clerk insists on making all copies that they mark as true copies.  There probably will be a charge for this, so be prepared to pay extra for copies of whatever you file.

This is the very same place where you get birth certificates, file for a DBA, and various other tasks.  The County Clerk is also the Circuit Court Clerk and maintains all the files for the circuit court.  This also means that you can walk in and ask to view your file and also request copies of any paperwork in the file.  They may make you stand at the counter and look at the file to determine what copies you need.  They most certainly will charge you per page for the copies as well.

2.  Where is the Charlevoix County Clerk’s Office (Where do I go)?

The County Clerk’s office is located in the Charlevoix County Court house at 301 State Street Charlevoix, Mi 49720.  If you park in the main parking lot and go through the only open doors on the left end of the building (if you are looking at the building) you will make an immediate right and follow the hall around behind the staircase and the County Clerk will be at the end of the hall on the right.

What process to I follow to file a Complaint for Custody, Parenting Time, or Support?

A child custody, parenting time, or support case is started by the filing of a motion.  A motion is a document that asks the court to do something (in this case to establish or to change custody).  The requirements of that motion must comply with the law and must state a sufficient basis to establish custody, parenting time, or support, or to change it.  For information on the law for child custody, see our pages on custody cases.

After the motion is filed, the motion must then be served on the other party and a copy provided to Friend of the Court (the County Clerk may take one of the copies and give it to Friend of the Court if you ask them to).  Service on the other party  depends on whether the case is an open file already or a new file.  If the file is new, it must be served by a process server or acknowledged by the defendant.  If the defendant acknowledges service they sign for the paperwork on a form made for that purpose and the signed paperwork is returned to the court.  If the process server serves the paperwork, the process server should file the original proof of service with the court and provide you with a copy.  If the file is already open, it can be served by mailing.  However, it is wise to serve the paperwork via  a method where verification is provided that the documents were received so that service is not later questioned.

Any person over the age of 18 who is not a party to the action can serve paperwork.  However, get it done professionally.  Boyne Process is Charlevoix County’s Appointed Court Officers for Civil Service.  Their address is 4101 US Highway 131 S Boyne Falls, Michigan 49713 and their phone number is (231) 549-3135.  The County Clerk may be able to hand your paperwork directly over to them for service.  You can ask and save yourself the step of getting it to them.

We serve clients all over the State of Michigan, Including Charlevoix County (Charlevoix, East Jordan, Elmira, Boyne City,), Otsego County (including Gaylord, Johannesburg, Elmira), Kalkaska County, Emmet County (Including Mackinaw City, Alanson, Conway, Petoskey, Walloon Lake) Cheboygan County (including Cheboygan, Indian River).  

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