Probate & Family Court

Probate & Family Court
Houghton County Courthouse
2nd Floor
401 E. Houghton Avenue
Houghton, Michigan 49931

906-482-3120 [Phone]
906-487-5964 [FAX]


Monday - Friday:
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Staff & Contacts

Honorable Fraser T. Strome
Probate and Family Court Judge

Kelly Poelstra-Olson
Juvenile Officer

Curt Rheault
Probation Officer

Tracey L. Beauchamp
Probate Register/Family Court Administrator/Judicial Secretary/ Judicial and Court Contact/Adoption Specialist

Rachel Peterson
Deputy Family Court Clerk

Heather Maki
Deputy Probate Register



The Family Division of Circuit Court has jurisdiction over all proceedings involving families with minor children, including: domestic relations - divorces with minor children; paternity; child custody, parenting time, and support; juvenile delinquency; child neglect and abuse; adoption; emancipation; and name changes. (Personal protection orders involving adults and minors are not processed through the Family Division.)

Family Court

A divorce proceeding can be initiated with or without an attorney. If you choose to proceed in pro per (without an attorney), forms and instructions are available on the State Court website at; you may purchase The Michigan Divorce Book with minor children, which gives detailed instructions on filing; or, visit the local library. At this time the Court does not have forms available to the public.

The Friend of the Court's office is involved in all domestic proceedings. Any pleadings filed with the Family Court Clerk must be copied to the Friend of the Court also.

Filing fees: $175.00 fee payable at time of filing; $80.00 Friend of the Court investigation fee, payable upon entry of Final Judgment; $20.00 motion fee; copies of documents, $1.00 per page.


All petitions must first be filed with the Prosecuting Attorney. Juveniles found by the court to be delinquent are placed on probation and supervised by the Juvenile Officer or Probation Officer; occasionally, referrals are made to the Department of Health and Human Services. Out-of-home placement decisions are made based on a youth's prior record and current allegation before the court. If a juvenile is placed out of the home, the parents will be responsible for at least partial reimbursement of foster care expenses incurred by the County. All child care fund questions should be directed to the Juvenile Officer. Scheduling questions can be handled by the Family Court Office (906-482-3120).


All neglect proceedings are initiated through the Department of Health and Human Services and approved by the Prosecuting Attorney. All children involved in a neglect or abuse situation will be appointed an attorney/guardian ad litem to represent their best interests. Scheduling questions can be handled by the Family Court Office (906-482-3120).


Direct placement and foreign adoptions are filed through an adoption agency or an attorney. The filing fee is $175.00; petition fees are $20.00; copies of records are $1.00 per page. Adoptions involving step-parents or relatives, i.e. grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc, can be handled through the Court's adoption worker, Susan L. O'Connell (906-482-0252). All of the above fees apply to step-parent and relative adoptions, as well as an additional $250.00 court supervision fee. Requests for confidential intermediaries can also be directed to the Court's adoption worker. The applicable fee is $20.00. Adoption search fee is $20.00per search.


Emancipation; $175.00 filing fee; must be at least 16 years old; only a child can petition, not a parent; copy of birth certificate and ability to manage financial and social affairs required; child cannot be receiving any state assistance; affidavit must be signed by professional with personal knowledge of minor, i.e. physician, school counselor, teacher, clergy, etc; court will schedule hearing and notify petitioner, parents, and affiant. Attorney will be appointed to represent minor on an as-needed basis. Forms are available at the Family Court Office.

Name Changes 

$175.00 filing fee; $64.45 publication fee (payable to local newspaper and subject to change); fingerprinting fees applicable to anyone filing over age 22; contact Family Court Office for further information and forms.

To order transcripts of court proceedings, please make your request in writing to the Court Reporter, with the name of the case, date of hearing, and file number, if available. Transcripts are billed at the rate of $2.05 per page.