Monday, June 15, 2020

MCR 3.223: Joint Petition for Divorce

The Michigan Supreme Court recently enacted Michigan Court Rule 3.223 allowing parties to file for divorce jointly.  Rather than filing as the traditional Plaintiff v Defendant, the Supreme Court created a new process allowing parties to file a Joint Petition in the matter of Party A and Party B.  This new action streamlines the process for people who are looking to separate amicably, choose to engage in pre-filing mediation and have executed a Consent Judgment of Divorce resolving all outstanding issues.  After execution of the Judgment, the parties file the Petition to ask the Court to enter the Judgment after the 60-day waiting period expires and the Court will set a hearing date.

In a divorce with minor children, the statutory waiting period is increased to 6 months. A Judge cannot enter a Judgment for 6 months from the date of filing of the Petition unless the parties demonstrate unusual hardship or such compelling necessity convincing the Court to waive the waiting period.  MCL 552.9f.  The Petition form allows the parties to state why the Judge should waive the 6-month waiting period and enter the Judgment of Divorce after 60 days.  Each individual Judge has different criteria regarding a waiver of the 6-month waiting period and a waiver will vary greatly depending on each family's situation.

Form: Petition (Consent Judgment)
Form: Notice of Request to Enter Consent Judgment