Sunday, March 4, 2012


I am a divorce lawyer in Michigan. My office is located across the street from The Genesee  County Court House downtown Flint Michigan.

DID YOU KNOW THAT-Default judgments. §§1.46–1.50.
The grounds are same as in other cases (e.g., failure to plead or failure to comply with other court rules).
The party seeking a default files a default, notice of entry of default, and an affidavit of default, and sends notice of entry of default to all parties.
A default may be filed at any time after the grounds are established, but the waiting period or other requirements may delay entry of the default judgment.
If the defaulted party has appeared, the party seeking entry of the judgment must give the defaulted party written notice of the request for entry of the judgment at least seven days before the hearing. See §1.50 for what constitutes an appearance.
If the defendant has not appeared, a nonmilitary affidavit must be filed before the default judgment of divorce can be entered.

There will be no fee for our first meeting where I will explain how to file for divorce in Michigan

DI D YOU KNOW THAT-Entry of the judgment.
A party must submit the judgment for entry within 21 days after the court’s opinion or a settlement was placed on the record, unless the court grants an extension. The court may require that the judgment be submitted to the Friend of the Court for review.
Methods for entering a divorce judgment after trial or after the parties place the settlement on the record:
  • The court may sign the judgment when it grants the relief provided by the judgment.
  • After the parties approve the judgment’s form, the court signs the judgment if it complies with the court’s decision.
  • The parties may submit the judgment under the seven-day rule.
  • The parties may prepare a proposed judgment and file a motion for settlement.

I have touched on or seen from start to finish thousands of divorces in Michigan since I entered the practice of law in 1994.

DID YOU KNOW THAT-Required provisions for divorce judgments.
All divorce judgments. §1.54.
  • A determination of each party’s rights in insurance on the life of the other party.
  • A release of dower rights.
  • A determination of each party’s rights in pension, annuity, or retirement benefits; contributions to a pension, annuity, or retirement plan; and contingent rights in unvested benefits.
  • The parties’ rights in property.
  • A provision granting, reserving, or denying spousal support.
  • If spousal support is nonmodifiable, a provision to that effect.

Divorces with minor children—additional required provisions. §1.55.
  • A prohibition against moving the children’s residence outside Michigan or, in the case of a joint custody arrangement, a relocation agreement or mandated language prohibiting moving the children’s residence more than 100 miles away.
  • A requirement that the custodial parent promptly notify the Friend of the Court in writing of any change of the children’s address.
  • A statement by the court declaring the children’s inherent rights and establishing the rights and duties as to the children’s custody, support, and parenting time.

As everything else cost of divorce in Michigan has gone up in many jurisdictions. My prices have not raised in 4 years, in this economy how can we.

DID YOU KNOW THAT-Modification of judgment provisions. §1.62.
Generally, divorce judgment provisions regarding child custody, parenting time, child support, and periodic spousal support are modifiable; property division and alimony in gross provisions are not.

You divorce forms in Michigan can be found in the County Law library and at book stores. With your family at stake I would suggest you seek legal counsel first.

DID YOU KNOW THAT-Relief from judgments.
Rehearing or new trial. §1.64.
May be ordered on a party’s motion filed within 21 days of entry of the judgment or on the court’s initiative during the same period (the order on the court’s initiative must specify the grounds).
The motion will be granted if a party’s substantial rights are materially affected by
  • irregularity in the proceedings
  • the prevailing party’s fraud or misconduct
  • decision against the great weight of the evidence
  • newly discovered material evidence that could not with reasonable diligence have been discovered and produced at trial
  • the court’s error of law or mistake of fact
  • void judgment
  • any other reason justifying relief from the judgment

On a motion for a new trial, the court may
  • set aside the judgment
  • take additional testimony
  • amend findings of fact and conclusions of law
  • make new findings or conclusions and enter a new judgment

Amendment or correction. §1.65.
At any time, the court may amend the judgment to correct clerical or inadvertent errors; no change in circumstances is required.
A motion to amend on other grounds must be brought within 21 days after entry of the judgment.

Michigan divorce process take 180 if there are minor children involved and 60 days if there are not.

DID YOU KNOW THAT-Setting aside judgments. §§1.67–1.72.
The parties’ stipulations to set aside—generally valid.
The defendant over whom jurisdiction was acquired but who did not know of the divorce judgment must file a motion for relief within one year after entry of the judgment. He or she must show adequate reason for relief and that innocent third parties will not be prejudiced.
Otherwise, on a motion brought within one year, a judgment may be set aside
  • for mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect
  • for newly discovered evidence that by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial
  • for fraud (intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct
  • for void judgment
  • because the judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged; a prior judgment on which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated; or it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application
  • for any other reason justifying relief

See §§1.68–1.71 for further explanation of these grounds.
A motion to set aside a default judgment (except those based on lack of jurisdiction over the defendant) may be granted only if good cause is shown and an affidavit of meritorious defense is filed. Good cause requires a showing that
  • there was substantial defect or irregularity in proceedings
  • a reasonable excuse exists for the defendant’s failure to plead
  • allowing the default to stand would cause manifest injustice

The court may also set aside a default judgment under MCR 2.612, Relief from Judgment or Order.
Enforcement of divorce judgments. §§1.74–1.78.
The court has inherent authority as a court of equity to enforce its own directives. The court may enforce provisions in the divorce judgment that the parties agreed to even if the court would not have had authority to order them without the parties’ consent.

If  you have additional questions please call 235-1970 or contact through