How long does it take to finalize the divorce in Michigan?

After filing for divorce, the statutory waiting period is 60 days for cases without a minor child and 6 months for cases in which there is a minor child. There is no exception to the 60 day waiting period.  For the 6 month waiting period, Michigan Court Rule 3.210 (Sec. A). provides authority for the court to consider waiving the 6 month requirement typically for couples that have already separated and reached a signed settlement agreement. In all cases, the Court is required to make a finding on the record before approving the Judgment of Divorce. This means that the Plaintiff has to appear in court and answer a set of specific questions. The Court is required to confirm that there is jurisdiction over the parties, the status of custody, parenting time and support for any children or pregnancy, and that each party signed the necessary paperwork. The Court must also verify that there is no chance of reconciliation. After review of the required paperwork, the divorce will be final after the Judge determines and states the following which is similar to irreconcilable differences in other states: “there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.” This language is based on MCL 552.6. The below Michigan Court Rule provides authority for the court to waive the 6 month waiting period and to allow the parties to place proofs on the record after 60 days have expired:

RULE 3.210 HEARINGS AND TRIALS (A) In General.

(1) Proofs or testimony may not be taken in an action for divorce or separate maintenance until the expiration of the time prescribed by the applicable statute, except as otherwise provided by this rule.

(2) In cases of unusual hardship or compelling necessity, the court may, upon motion and proper showing, take testimony and render judgment at any time 60 days after the filing of the complaint.

(3) Testimony may be taken conditionally at any time for the purpose of perpetuating it.

(4) Testimony must be taken in person, except that the court may allow testimony to be taken by telephone in extraordinary circumstances, or under MCR 2.407.

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