November 21, 2014

Divorce in Michigan

Divorce in Michigan

Divorce is the legal end of a marriage.  In a divorce, the court will address issues of alimony, property division and child custody.  There are two paths in every divorce, the emotional path and the legal path.  This page examines the legal path and provides a tremendous amount of information.

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PLANNING STEPS ALIMONY PROPERTY CUSTODY

MEDIATION TAXES LEGAL SEPARATION RETIREMENT

MOVING EX PARTE ORDERS CHILD SUPPORT THE RING

FILING FIRST HOW TO SETTLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY FEES

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Divorce in Michigan explained – The basics

A divorce in Michigan is simply a finding by a court that there has been a breakdown in the marriage that results in a change of your legal status from married to divorced.  A divorce must also resolve more complicated issues like property division, alimony and custody and support.  There is only one way to obtain a divorce in Michigan, file a lawsuit by preparing and filing a Complaint for Divorce.  The divorce in Michigan is concluded when a Judge signs a Judgment of Divorce in Michigan.  The Judgment of Divorce is a divorce decree that formally ends the marriage and contains provisions regarding property and debt division and sometimes alimony in addition to child custody, parenting time and child support, if applicable.  From a legal perspective, there is nothing complicated about a divorce.  However, issues relating to property and debt division, alimony, child custody, parenting time and child support can be very complicated.

In cases involving children a divorce in Michigan is typically granted after 6 months.  In cases without minor children a Michigan divorce can be granted after 60 days. Although it is not recommended, some people do not use attorneys to handle their divorce. While simple divorces can be handled without the assistance of an attorney, if you have any issues relating to property division, claims of alimony, child support or child custody please consult an attorney.

Quick Navigation – Divorce
PLANNING STEPS ALIMONY PROPERTY CUSTODY

MEDIATION TAXES LEGAL SEPARATION RETIREMENT

MOVING EX PARTE ORDERS CHILD SUPPORT THE RING

FILING FIRST HOW TO SETTLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY FEES

FAULT PARENTING TIME

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Divorce in Michigan explained – The details

If you are seeking details on divorce in Michigan, we have got you covered with detailed articles and videos on topics covering all of the details in a Michigan divorce.  There are no formal separation requirements to obtain a Michigan divorce nor do you have to have a specific ground or reason for a divorce in Michigan.  While it takes two people to get married, it only takes one person to obtain a divorce in Michigan.

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  • Alimony – Alimony (spousal support) explained.
  • Parenting time – Michigan visitation and parenting time explained.

 

 

 

 

Jurisdictional requirements – Where to file?

In order to file a divorce in Michigan, certain procedural requirements must be met.

  • Jurisdictional requirement:  In order to obtain a divorce in Michigan, one party must be a resident of the State of Michigan for a minimum of 180 days.  This is the Jurisdictional requirement.  The jurisdictional residency requirement is found in MCL 552.9
  • Venue requirement:  The divorce lawsuit must be filed in the County you have lived in for 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the divorce.
  • No-fault ground for divorce:  Every divorce must state the statutory grounds for divorce.  The no fault grounds for divorce in Michigan is that there is a “breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the object of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”  This law became effective on January 1, 1972.  The no fault divorce in Michigan statute is located in Michigan compiled laws section 552.6.
  • Key learning:  Although Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, fault can play a role in divorce.  Click here for more information on fault.

 

 

 

 

Complaint for Divorce requirements:  MCL 552.6

MCL 552.6 provides that:  “A complaint for divorce may be filed in the circuit court upon the allegation that there has been a breakdown of 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.  In the complaint the plaintiff shall make no other explanation of the grounds for divorce than by the use of the statutory language.”  This the basis of “no-fault” divorce in Michigan.

A Complaint for Divorce must also include Jurisdictional language, a declaration that the wife is not currently pregnant, a prayer for relief and additional specific language in cases involving children.  These requirements are bundled in statutes, court rules and local rules.  Rather than confusing you with all of the requirements of a Complaint for Divorce, we provide a sample complaint for divorce below.  As a general proposition, there is nothing particularly special about a Complaint for Divorce.  It is a simple form.  Notwithstanding, what follow the Complaint for Divorce is typically not simple.

 

 

 

 

Judgment of divorce requirements:  MCL 552.101

1.  Every Judgment of divorce in Michigan must contain a provision in lieu of the dower of the wife in the property of the husband, which shall be in full satisfaction of all claims that the wife may have in any property that the husband owns or may own in the future or in which he may have any interest.

2.  Each judgment of divorce or judgment of separate maintenance shall determine all rights of the wife in and to the proceeds of any policy or contract of life insurance, endowment, or annuity upon the life of the husband in which the wife was named or designated as beneficiary, or to which the wife became entitled by assignment or change of beneficiary during the marriage or in anticipation of marriage.

3.  Each judgment of divorce or judgment of separate maintenance shall determine all rights of the husband/wife in and to the proceeds of any policy or contract of life insurance, endowment, or annuity upon the life of the wife in which the husband/wife was named or designated as beneficiary, or to which he became entitled by assignment or change of beneficiary during the marriage or in anticipation of marriage.

4.  Each judgment of divorce or judgment of separate maintenance shall determine all rights, including any contingent rights, of the husband and wife in and to all of the following:(a) Any vested pension, annuity, or retirement benefits.(b) Any accumulated contributions in any pension, annuity, or retirement system.(c) In accordance with section 18 of 1846 RS 84, MCL 552.18, any unvested pension, annuity, or retirement benefits.(5) For any divorce or separate maintenance action filed on or after September 1, 2006, if a judgment of divorce or judgment of separate maintenance provides for the assignment of any rights in and to any pension, annuity, or retirement benefits, a proportionate share of all components of the pension, annuity, or retirement benefits shall be included in the assignment unless the judgment of divorce or judgment of separate maintenance expressly excludes 1 or more components. Components include, but are not limited to, supplements, subsidies, early retirement benefits, postretirement benefit increases, surviving spouse benefits, and death benefits. This subsection shall apply regardless of the characterization of the pension, annuity, or retirement benefit as regular retirement, early retirement, disability retirement, death benefit, or any other characterization or classification, unless the judgment of divorce or judgment of separate maintenance expressly excludes a particular characterization or classification.


The Law – cases and statutes on divorce in Michigan

In law school, professors often ask law students to “point to the authority”.  At Findling Law, we provide the authority for everything we do. Recognize that in addition to the statutory law provided below, Michigan cases can modify and interpret the law, so we invite you to ask questions.  Michigan divorce law is complicated.  In addition to the basic divorce statutory law provided below, we provide specific law on specific topics.  For example, custody law can be found in the custody portions of this website and Michigan divorce property law can be found in the property portion of this website. – Daniel

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Michigan Compiled Laws (“MCL”) – Statutory law on divorce in Michigan.

Section 552.1:  Invalidity of marriages; legitimacy of issue.

Section 552.2:  Invalidity of marriages; marriage of person under age of consent, marriage by fraud, lack of cohabitation.

Section 552.3:  Marriage of doubtful validity; procedure to annul.

Section 552.4:  Marriage of doubtful validity; procedure to affirm.

Section 552.6:  Complaint for divorce; filing; grounds; answer; judgment.

Section 552.7:  Action for separate maintenance; filing; grounds; answer; effect of admission; counterclaim for divorce; judgment.

Section 552.8:  Repealed. 1971, Act 75, Eff. Jan. 1, 1972.

Section 552.9:  Judgment of divorce; residency requirement; exception.

Section 552.9a:  Decree of divorce; conditions.

Section 552.9b, 552.9c:  Repealed. 1958, Act 227, Imd. Eff. May 26, 1958.

Section 552.9d:  Repealed. 1971, Act 75, Eff. Jan. 1, 1972.

Section 552.9e:  Divorce; cause occurring out of state, residence

Section 552.9f:  Divorce; taking of testimony; minor children; perpetuating testimony; nonresident defendant, residence of plaintiff.

Section 552.10:  Repealed. 1971, Act 75, Eff. Jan. 1, 1972.

Section 552.11:  Action for divorce; answer without oath.

Section 552.12:  Suit; conduct, power of court.

Section 552.13:  Alimony; costs; termination.

Section 552.14:  Action for annulment, divorce, or separate maintenance; entering personal protection order.

Section 552.15:  Care, custody, and support of minor children during pendency of action; support order; enforcement.

Section 552.16:  Care, custody, and support of minor child after annulment or judgment of divorce or separate maintenance; enforcement.

Section 552.16a:  Repealed. 2001, Act 107, Eff. Sept. 30, 2001.

Section 552.17:  Revision and alteration of judgment concerning care, custody, maintenance, and support of children; enforceability of order.

Section 552.17a:  Jurisdiction of court; application for modification of judgment or order; waiver of contempt.

Section 552.18:  Rights or contingent rights in and to vested or unvested benefits or accumulated contributions as part of marital estate subject to award by court; amendment of court order to satisfy requirements of eligible domestic relations order.

Section 552.19:  Restoration of real and personal estate to parties.

Section 552.20:  Real and personal property or money in lieu thereof; delivery or payment to trustee; investment; application of income.

Section 552.21:  Payment of principal sum on court order; bonds.

Section 552.22:  Disclosure of property.

Section 552.23:  Judgment of divorce or separate maintenance; further award of real and personal estate; transmittal of payments to department of human services; service fee; failure or refusal to pay service fee; contempt; “state disbursement unit” or “SDU” defined

Section 552.24:  Centralized receipt and disbursement of support and fees.

Section 552.27:  Alimony or allowance for support and education of children as lien; default; powers of court.

Section 552.28:  Judgment for alimony or allowance or for appointment of trustees; revision or alteration.

Section 552.29:  Presumption of legitimacy.

Section 552.30:  Legitimacy of issue; dissolution of marriage.

Section 552.31:  Legitimacy of issue; dissolution of bigamous marriage entered into in good faith.

Section 552.34:  Action to annul marriage of minor.

Section 552.35:  Marriage annulment; action by party’s next friend.

Section 552.36:  Marriage annulment; action by party to marriage.

Section 552.37:  Marriage annulment; ground of force or fraud; effect of voluntary cohabitation.

Section 552.38:  Marriage annulment; ground of force or fraud; custody and maintenance of issue.

Section 552.39:  Marriage annulment; ground of physical incapacity; party to maintain; time limitation of suit.

Section 552.40-552.42:  Repealed. 1971, Act 75, Eff. Jan. 1, 1972.

Section 552.43:  Divorce from bed and board; decree; limited time, revocation.

Section 552.44:  Repealed. 1971, Act 75, Eff. Jan. 1, 1972.

Section 552.45:  Children; enumeration in complaint; notice to prosecutor of friend of court; decree opposition, interest of prosecutor or partners in case.

Section 552.46:  Repealed. 1971, Act 75, Eff. Jan. 1, 1972

Section 552.101:  Judgment of divorce or separate maintenance; provision in lieu of dower; determining rights of wife or husband in and to policy of life insurance, endowment, or annuity; discharge of liability on policy; determination of rights; assignment of rights.

Section 552.102:  Realty owned jointly or by entireties; effect of divorce without determination of ownership in decree.

Section 552.103:  Realty owned jointly or by entireties; bill of complaint, disposal, sale order, partition.

Section 552.104:  Divorce decree; certified copy; recording.

 

 

 

 

Sample Complaint for Divorce

At Findling Law we draft our own Complaint for Divorce catering to our client’s individual needs. Notwithstanding, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) provides a good sample Compliant for Divorce and the sample is provided below:

[Insert caption.]

COMPLAINT FOR DIVORCE

[Either]

There is no other pending or resolved civil action arising out of the transaction or occurrence alleged in the complaint.

[Or]

A civil action between these parties or other parties arising out of the transaction or occurrence alleged in the complaint has been previously filed in [this court / _____________ Court], where it was given docket number _________ and was assigned to Judge ___________. The action [remains / is no longer] pending.

[Either]

There is no other pending or resolved action within the jurisdiction of the family division of the circuit court involving the family or family members of the person[s] who [is / are] the subject of the complaint or petition.

[Or]

An action within the jurisdiction of the family division of the circuit court involving the family or family members of the person[s] who [is / are] the subject of the complaint or petition has been previously filed in [this court / ________________ Court], where it was given docket number _________ and was assigned to Judge ___________. The action [remains / is no longer] pending.

[Required:]

Plaintiff states:

  1. [Plaintiff has / Defendant has / The parties have] resided in the state of Michigan for at least 180 days and in [county] County for at least 10 days immediately before filing this complaint.
  2. The parties were married on [date], in [city and state].
  3. The name of Plaintiff before the marriage was [name] and the name of Defendant before the marriage was [name].
  4. The parties separated on or about [date].
  5. The parties have property to be divided.
  6. There has been a breakdown of 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.

PLAINTIFF REQUESTS the court to order

  1. that the marriage be dissolved and the parties divorced,
  2. that the property of the parties be equitably divided, and
  3. other and further relief that the court deems equitable or appropriate.

[Additional provisions for minor children:]

  1. The parties’ minor children are [names and dates of birth, including children of the parties or minor children born during the marriage].
  2. [Plaintiff is / Defendant is / Both parties are] fit and proper to provide for the care and custody of the minor children.
  3. Plaintiff needs support for the minor children, and Defendant is able to provide such support.
  4. Pursuant to MCL 722.1209, Plaintiff states:
  5. The children presently reside with [Plaintiff / Defendant] at [address] and for the last five years have resided with [Plaintiff / Defendant / both parties] at [all addresses].
  6. I [have / have not] participated, as a party or witness or in another capacity, in another child custody proceeding concerning the children.
  7. I [know / do not know] of a proceeding that could affect the current child custody proceeding, including a proceeding for enforcement or a proceeding relating to domestic violence, a protective order, termination of parental rights, or adoption.
  8. I [know / do not know] of any person who is not a party to this child custody proceeding and has physical custody of the children or claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of, or parenting time with, the children.

[If a declaration in the affirmative is given, further information under oath shall be given as required by the court. A party has a continuing duty to inform the court of other custody proceedings.]

[Additional matters:]

Spousal support. Plaintiff needs spousal support for suitable support and maintenance because of [unemployment or limited income / caring for minor children / lack of education], and Defendant is able to provide such support because [state specifics].

Attorney fees. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to bear the expense of this action unless the court awards attorney fees and costs.

Property restraining order. If Defendant disposes of property, irreparable loss will be caused [include specifics].

Maintain insurance. Plaintiff will suffer immediate and irreparable harm if there is any change of beneficiary of any life or health insurance policy currently in effect.

[Optional additional provisions in relief clause:]

PLAINTIFF REQUESTS the court to order that

  1. Plaintiff have temporary and permanent custody of the minor children;
  2. Defendant pay temporary and permanent child support [and spousal support] for support of the minor children [and Plaintiff];
  3. Plaintiff be awarded reasonable and necessary attorney fees to pursue this action;
  4. Defendant be restrained from transferring, disposing of, or secreting any assets of the parties;
  5. Defendant be restrained from canceling any life or health insurance or changing the beneficiaries or insured parties.

I declare that the statements above are true to the best of my information, knowledge, and belief.

Insert Signature block

 

 

 

 

Sample Judgment of Divorce

CONSENT JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE

 

At a session of court held in the courthouse in

______________, Michigan, on [date].

Present: Honorable _________________

________________ Court Judge

Plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce. Defendant answered and filed a counterclaim for divorce. On the stipulation of the parties, Defendant withdrew the answer and counterclaim. Proofs were taken in open court in support of the complaint. The court is satisfied that the material factual allegations in the complaint are true and that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and it is unlikely that the marriage can be preserved.

IT IS ORDERED:

 

Dissolution of Marriage

  1. The marriage is dissolved and the parties are divorced.

 

Child Custody and Parenting Time

  1. Child custody.

[Either]

Plaintiff has custody of the parties’ minor child[ren], [name], born [date], and [name], born [date], until [he / she / they] reach[es] the age of 18 or until further order of the court.

[Or]

The parties have joint legal custody and Plaintiff has physical custody of the parties’ minor child[ren], [names], until the child[ren] reach[es] the age of 18 or until further order of the court.

  1. Parenting time. Defendant is allowed reasonable parenting time with the minor child[ren].
  2. Relocating/Geographic restrictions. [Note: In cases of joint legal custody, but not sole legal custody (physical custody is not mentioned in the statute, MCL 722.31), the judgment must contain the following provision, unless the parents can agree on an alternate provision that states the parents’ agreement as to how a change in either of the child’s legal residences will be handled. Such stipulated provisions can apparently be as narrow or as broad as the parents wish, such as, for example, merely requiring written notice of a move; agreement on the circumstances in which a move is permissible; agreement that a move to a specific location, such as the home state of either parent, is permissible; etc.]

A parent whose custody or parenting time of a child is governed by this order shall not change the legal residence of the child except in compliance with section 11 of the Child Custody Act of 1970, 1970 PA 91, MCL 722.31; specifically, the parents may not change their legal residences with the child to a location more than 100 miles from the parents’ residences as determined at the time the complaint for divorce was filed, unless the other parent consents to the change, or the court orders the change, or if the change results in the parents’ homes being closer to each other than before the change.

[In cases involving domestic violence, add the following: If a parent needs to seek a safe location from the threat of domestic violence, the parent may move to such a location with the child until the court makes a determination concerning the change of residence.]

  1. Residence of minor child[ren]. The minor child[ren] may not reside outside Michigan without prior approval of the court. The custodian must promptly notify the Friend of the Court when [a / the] minor child[ren] [is / are] moved to another address.

 

Child Support

  1. Uniform Support Order. The Uniform Support Order dated [date] is incorporated by reference.
  2. Payment. Defendant will pay $[amount] per month for the support of the minor child[ren] [($[amount] for each child per month)] to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU) office at [address], until [the / each] minor child reaches age 18 or until [the / each] minor child reaches age 191/ 2 if the child is residing with the payee or at an institution and regularly attending high school on a full-time basis with a reasonable expectation of completing sufficient credits to graduate from high school, whichever is later, or until further order of the court.
  3. Deviation from child support formula. Pursuant to MCL 552.605, the child support amount in this judgment is approved although it deviates from the Michigan Child Support Formula, which would be $[amount] for [the child per month / [number] children ($[amount] per child) per month], because [other property or support (specifically, [describe]) has been awarded in lieu of child support / the child support formula would be unjust or inappropriate in this case because [add facts]].
  4. Abatement of child support. Defendant shall receive a 50 percent retroactive abatement of child support when the children spend six or more consecutive overnights with Defendant.
  5. Service fees. Defendant must pay the Friend of the Court $3.50 per month semiannually in advance on January 2 and July 2 while the support order is operative. The initial payment for the months preceding the next regular due date must be made immediately.
  6. Immediate income withholding. The payment of child support in the amount set forth in this judgment [optional: include the following by agreement or if there has been a failure to obtain or maintain health care coverage for minor children: plus the employee’s share of the cost of health care premiums], plus Friend of the Court service fees of $3.50 per month, will be made pursuant to an order of immediate income withholding issued by this court. A copy of the order to withhold the amount indicated, together with a notice of income withholding, will be served on the payer’s source of income. The amount withheld shall not exceed the amount allowed under 15 USC 1673 of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If there is more than one order to withhold income for support, fees, or health care coverage premiums against a payer or parent, the total amount withheld will not exceed the limits imposed by 15 USC 1673 and the employer will give priority to the orders as indicated in MCL 552.611a.
  7. Prohibition against future modification of support. Except as otherwise provided in section 3 of the Support and Parenting Time Enforcement Act (SPTEA), 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.603, a support order that is part of a judgment or that is an order in a domestic relations matter as defined in section 2 of the friend of the court act, 1982 PA 294, MCL 552.502, is a judgment on and after the date each support payment is due, with the full force, effect, and attributes of a judgment of this state, and is not, on and after the date it is due, subject to retroactive modification. A surcharge will be added to support amounts that are past due as provided in section 3a of the SPTEA, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.603a.
  8. Surcharge for past due support. A surcharge will be added to the amount of support payments that are shown as past due, in the Friend of the Court records (reduced by one month’s support), as of January 1 and July 1 each year. The surcharge is calculated at six-month intervals at an annual rate of interest equal to 1 percent plus the average interest rate paid at auctions of five-year U.S. Treasury notes during the six months preceding January 1 and July 1. The surcharge does not compound.
  9. Assignment. If a child for whom support is payable under the order is under the state’s jurisdiction and is placed in foster care, support payable under the order is assigned to the Department of Human Services.
  10. Redirection. The office of the Friend of the Court may consider the person legally responsible for the actual care, support, and maintenance of a child for whom support is ordered as the recipient of support for the child and may redirect support paid for that child to that recipient of support, subject to the procedures prescribed in section 5d of the SPTEA, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.605d.
  11. Temporary support arrearages. Child support arrearages under the temporary support order are preserved, and Defendant must immediately pay all amounts owed for support to the date of this judgment under the terms of the [date] temporary order of the court.
  12. Preservation of child support arrearages owed to the state. Any arrearages in child support owed to the state of Michigan, whether they arose under a temporary child support order or a judgment pursuant to MCL 552.451 et seq., are preserved.
  13. Life insurance. Defendant will designate the parties’ minor child[ren] as [beneficiary / beneficiaries] of an insurance policy on [his / her] life in the minimum amount of $[amount]. Defendant will maintain this policy, with the child[ren] as [beneficiary / beneficiaries], as long as child support is payable. If Plaintiff has life insurance, [he / she] will name the parties’ minor child[ren] as [beneficiary / beneficiaries] of insurance on [his / her] life in the amount of $[amount], or the full amount of [his / her] insurance if [he / she] has less than $[amount] in insurance. Within 14 days of the entry of this judgment, Defendant will provide to Plaintiff proof that such insurance has been obtained and the required beneficiary designation made. On the request of Plaintiff, not more often than once annually, Defendant will provide to Plaintiff proof of payment of the premiums for such insurance. When Plaintiff obtains insurance, [he / she] must provide proof of such insurance and beneficiary designation to Defendant.

 

Health Care for Minor Children

  1. Medical, dental, and hospital expenses. Defendant must also pay reasonable and necessary uninsured medical, dental, and hospital expenses for the minor child[ren] until [he / she / they] reach[es] age 18, or after age 18 as provided by law, or until further order of the court.
  2. Health insurance must be maintained. If Defendant currently carries health insurance for the child[ren], it must be maintained. If there is no insurance, Defendant must obtain and maintain any health care insurance that is available at a reasonable cost as a benefit of employment or as an option for dependents on a current policy.
  3. Current coverage. Plaintiff currently has the following health care coverage, which covers [names and birth dates of covered persons]: [name of the health care company, nonprofit health care corporation or health maintenance organization, and number of the policy, certificate, or contract]. Defendant currently has the following health care coverage, which covers [names and birth dates of covered persons]: [name of the health care company, nonprofit health care corporation or health maintenance organization, and number of the policy, certificate, or contract]. Pursuant to MCL 552.605a, the parties will keep the Friend of the Court office informed of any changes in this information.
  4. [Optional: Include the following paragraph by agreement or when there has been a failure to obtain or maintain health care coverage for minor children.] Order for dependent health care coverage. The payment of Defendant’s share of the cost of health care premiums for the minor child[ren] will be made pursuant to an order for dependent health coverage (ODHCC) issued by this court. A copy of the order to withhold the amount indicated below, together with a notice of income withholding, will be served on the payer’s source of income and may be combined with an order of income withholding for child support amounts pursuant to MCL 552.626b(3). The ODHCC will include the following information:

(1)       the [participant / employee / defendant]‘s name and last known mailing address and the minor child[ren’s] (the alternate recipient[‘s / s’]) name[s]

(2)       the [type of coverage to be provided / manner under which coverage is to be determined] for the minor child[ren], which is [include as many of the following as applicable: hospitalization, medical and surgical benefits, prescription drug benefits, dental coverage, vision care coverage, flexible benefit plan coverage, office visit coverage, all other benefits currently granted to the participant]

(3)       the period to which the order applies, which is from the date of issuance by the court until the earlier of (1) the date the [participant / employee / defendant] is no longer entitled to coverage under the plan or (2) the dates the minor child[ren] (the alternate recipient[s]) reach[es] age 18 (or 191/ 2 if still a high school student)

(4)       the amount of the premium to be withheld, which is $[amount]

(5)       the name of Defendant’s health care company or organization and the policy number, which are stated in paragraph 5b of this judgment

  1. Qualified medical child support order. Any benefits paid by the group health plan under this qualified medical child support order as well as reimbursement for expenses paid by the custodial parent of the minor child[ren] (the alternate recipient[s]) will be made to the alternate recipient[‘s / s’] custodial parent, Plaintiff [name], whose last known mailing address is [address]. The plan will communicate with the alternate recipient[‘s / s’] custodial parent and provide the custodial parent with all necessary forms and information to enable [him / her] to file claims on behalf of the alternate recipient[s]. The court will retain jurisdiction to clarify this order if the plan administrator raises questions regarding its interpretation or determines that this order does not meet the requirement of a qualified medical child support order under 29 USC 1169 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), in its present form or as amended. Copies of this qualified medical child support order will be forwarded to the plan administrator. The plan administrator will follow procedures consistent with 29 USC 1169 for determining the qualified status of this order. [Note that if a qualified medical child support order is entered as a separate document, it must include all the information in this paragraph, all the information in subparagraphs (1)-(5) of &22, and the children’s names and birth dates.
  2. Income tax exemptions. Defendant may claim the minor child[ren] as [a] dependent[s] under city, state, and federal tax requirements without objection by Plaintiff or until further order of the court [optional: subject to the following condition: If on December 31st of a tax year, defendant, pursuant to the records of the [county] County Friend of the Court, is in arrears for child or spousal support for that tax year, defendant will not be entitled to claim the minor child[ren] as [a] dependent[s] for tax purposes]. For any year in which Defendant is entitled to claim the dependency exemptions, Plaintiff must execute any documents required under the Divorce Reform Act of 1984 to permit Defendant to claim the exemption.
  3. Continuing duty to notify the Friend of the Court. The parties have placed on file, through their verified statements to the Friend of the Court, their addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, employers, health insurance information, and occupational and driver’s license numbers.
  4. Change of address. Plaintiff and Defendant must notify the Friend of the Court in writing within 21 days after any change of address or telephone number.
  5. Health insurance. Pursuant to MCL 552.605a, each party shall keep the office of the Friend of the Court informed of any health coverage available to him or her as a benefit of employment or that is maintained by him or her; the name of the health care insurance company or organization; the policy, certificate, or contract number; and the names and birth dates of the persons for whose benefit he or she maintains health care coverage.
  6. Residence of the parties and children. The parties must inform the Friend of the Court within 21 days of any change of his or her residence or telephone number while the order for support is operative. The children’s custodian must promptly notify the Friend of the Court when [a / the] minor child is moved to another address. MCR 3.211(D)(2); MCL 552.603(7)(a).
  7. Sources of income. Pursuant to MCL 552.603(7)(c) and .605a(1)(a), the parties shall keep the office of the Friend of the Court informed of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of their current employers and other sources of income as defined in MCL 552.602.
  8. Occupational licenses and driver’s licenses. Pursuant to MCL 552.603(7)(b), (d), the parties shall keep the office of the Friend of the Court informed if they hold an occupational or a driver’s license (including a chauffeur’s license) and of the driver’s license number.
  9. Lien on real and personal property. The amount of support automatically constitutes a lien on Defendant’s personal and real property. Defendant’s real and personal property may be encumbered or seized if an arrearage accrues in an amount greater than the amount of periodic support payments payable for one year under Defendant’s support order.

 

Spousal Support

  1. Payment.

[Either]

Neither Plaintiff nor Defendant is entitled to spousal support. Spousal support is forever barred.

[Or]

Defendant must pay Plaintiff $[amount] a month until further order of the court, through the MiSDU. Defendant has no liability to make any spousal support payment for any period after Plaintiff dies, nor any liability to make any payment, in cash or property, as a substitute for spousal support after Plaintiff dies. No spousal support shall be awarded to Defendant, and, as to him, spousal support is forever barred.

  1. Uniform Support Order. The Uniform Support Order dated [date] is incorporated by reference.
  2. Lien. The amount of the support automatically constitutes a lien on Defendant’s personal and real property, as required by MCL 552.27.
  3. Income Withholding. The payment of spousal support in the amount set forth in this judgment, plus Friend of the Court service fees of $ [amount] per month, shall be made pursuant to an immediate order of income withholding issued by this court. A copy of the order to withhold the amount indicated, together with a notice of income withholding, shall be served on the payer’s source of income.
  4. [Optional] Exemption from immediate income withholding. Pursuant to MCL 552.604(3), an order of income withholding will not take immediate effect for the following reasons: [choose one: immediate income withholding would not be in the best interests of the child because [reason]; the payer has timely paid previously ordered support; and the payer will keep the office of the Friend of the Court notified of all matters ordered in this judgment, including source of income and health care coverage / the parties agree to this provision and have provided in this consent judgment for an alternative payment arrangement and the payer will keep the office of the Friend of the Court notified of all matters required by law]. The recipient of support is not on public assistance and there are no arrearages payable to the state.
  5. Friend of the Court case opt-out. The parties agree, and the court orders, that the friend of the court case in this matter is closed. In order to later seek Friend of the Court services, for enforcement or modification, one of the parties must apply for Friend of the Court services, and obtain an order containing the provisions required by the Friend of the Court Act and the SPTEA. MCL 552.505a(7).
  6. Nonretroactivity. Except as otherwise provided in section 3 of the SPTEA, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.603, a support order that is part of a judgment or that is an order in a domestic relations matter as defined in section 2 of the Friend of the Court Act, 1982 PA 294, MCL 552.502, is a judgment on and after the date each support payment is due, with the full force, effect, and attributes of a judgment of this state, and is not, on and after the date it is due, subject to retroactive modification. A surcharge will be added to support amounts that are past due as provided in section 3a of the SPTEA, 1982 PA 295, MCL 552.603a.
  7. Arrearages preserved. All temporary spousal support arrearages are preserved by this judgment.
  8. COBRA Benefits. Defendant will secure, and pay any premiums to maintain, group medical insurance coverage for Plaintiff through [his / her] employer under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), Pub L No 99-272, 100 Stat 82, for 36 months from the date of entry of this judgment or until Plaintiff obtains employment providing medical insurance coverage, whichever comes first.

 

Property Division

  1. Affirmation. Each party affirms that he or she has fully and accurately disclosed all the assets owned by him or her in which he or she has any interest.

 

[Use in lieu of stating the property settlement agreement in the judgment. Note, however, that a judgment must contain certain provisions, MCR 3.211].

  1. Separate property settlement agreement. The property settlement agreement executed by Plaintiff and Defendant on [date] in complete resolution of their respective property rights in this matter is approved by the court and will constitute the property settlement between the parties in this matter. Each party has a copy of the agreement and it has been reviewed by the court.
  2. Household furniture and furnishings. Plaintiff is awarded all the household furniture and furnishings free and clear of any claim by Defendant.
  3. Personal property. Each party is awarded the items of personal property in his or her possession.
  4. Automobiles.

[Either]

Each party is awarded the automobiles in his or her possession on this date.

[Or]

Plaintiff is awarded the [make, model], VIN #[number], free from any claim of Defendant; and Plaintiff assumes and agrees to pay the lien on it and to hold Defendant harmless from any claim, charge, or liability on it. Defendant is awarded the [make, model], VIN #[number], free from any claim of Plaintiff; and Defendant assumes and agrees to pay the lien on it and to hold Plaintiff harmless from any claim, charge, or liability on it.

Plaintiff’s share of assets.

    Plaintiff is awarded the following assets:
  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________
  • Plaintiff’s share of liabilities. Plaintiff is responsible for, and must hold Defendant harmless from, the following liabilities:
  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________
  • Defendant’s share of assets. Defendant is awarded the following assets:
  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________
  • Defendant’s share of liabilities. Defendant is responsible for, and must hold Plaintiff harmless from, the following liabilities:
  • ___________________________________
  • ___________________________________
  • Marital home. The marital home, legally described as [legal description], and commonly described as [address], is held by the parties as tenants in common and must immediately be listed for sale with [realty company] at the best obtainable price. After the costs of the sale are deducted, the net proceeds will be divided equally. Net proceeds will be calculated after subtracting the costs of sale, closing costs, real estate commissions, unpaid property taxes, and payoff of the presently outstanding balances of the mortgage and the home improvement loan. Defendant has exclusive use of the home until it is sold and must pay the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance on it for that period.
  • Statutory insurance provision. Any rights of either party as a named beneficiary or by assignment during or in anticipation of marriage in any policy or contract of life insurance, endowment, or annuity insurance on the life of the other are extinguished.
  • Pension and retirement plan rights.
  • Parties’ rights. Except as specifically provided below, each party is awarded all rights and interest in any pension, annuity, or retirement plan benefits, accumulated contributions in any pension, annuity, or retirement systems, as well as any rights or contingent rights to unvested pension, annuity, or retirement benefits, that he or she accrued during the marriage, free and clear of the claims of the other party, whose rights are expressly cut off and terminated by this judgment.
  • Defendant’s pension. Plaintiff is awarded an interest in Defendant’s _____ Company [name of plan] pension plan in an amount equal to 50 percent of the benefit attributable to the period of the marriage, calculated by a coverture fraction, the numerator of which is Defendant’s years of service with [Company] Company during this marriage and the denominator of which is Defendant’s total years of service.
  • Early retirement. Plaintiff will share in any early retirement subsidy or supplement attributable to the period of the marriage in proportion to her benefits awarded under the preceding sentence.
  • Surviving spouse designation. Plaintiff is to be designated as the surviving spouse for purposes of the preretirement and postretirement survivor benefits under the plan attributable to the period of the marriage. Plaintiff shall be designated beneficiary of any death benefit the plan may offer to the extent necessary to preserve her interest in Defendant’s benefit attributable to the period of the marriage.
  • Postjudgment increases. Plaintiff is entitled to postjudgment increases and other plan enhancements, including cost-of-living increases, to the extent of her interest awarded in &45b.
  • When payments begin. Plaintiff will be allowed to elect to begin receiving her benefits at Defendant’s earliest retirement age, or earlier if permitted by the plan.
  • Administrative costs. To the extent that the plan charges an administrative or actuarial cost for reviewing or administering the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), the parties shall split this cost equally.
  • Plaintiff’s 401k. Defendant is awarded 50 percent of Plaintiff’s 401k plan through [Company] Company, which accrued during the marriage through the date of this judgment, including any subsequent earnings on his share.
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. To effectuate the provisions of &45b-g, QDROs are to be entered with the court within 28 days of the date of this judgment.
  • Jointly owned real estate. All real estate owned by the parties as joint tenants or as tenants by the entireties is converted to tenancy in common unless otherwise specifically provided for in this judgment.
  • Bar of dower. The property division provisions of this judgment supersede claims of dower. Both parties are forever barred from any dower interest in any property the other has an interest in, owns, or acquires.
  • Encumbrances on property. Any lien, encumbrance, or obligation on any property awarded must be assumed and paid by the party receiving it unless otherwise specified in this judgment.
  • Warranties regarding encumbrances on property. The property award in this judgment is based on each party’s warranty that any property being transferred to the other party is free of any liens, encumbrances, or debts other than those specifically disclosed, namely the following:
  • __________________________ $[amount]
  • __________________________ $[amount]
  • <Joint tax return. The parties will cooperate fully in the execution of city, state, and federal joint income tax returns for [year] and will share equally in any tax liability or right of refund from it.

 

Attorney Fees

  1. Preservation of the temporary order for attorney fees. Any unpaid attorney fees that Defendant was ordered to pay to Plaintiff’s attorney in the temporary order previously entered in this matter are preserved.

[Either]

Each party must pay his or her own attorney fees in this case.

[Or]

Defendant will pay Plaintiff’s attorney, [name], $[amount] on the entry of judgment as partial payment of Plaintiff’s attorney fees. Plaintiff will be responsible for the balance of [his / her] attorney fees and costs.

 

Restoration of Name

  1. Plaintiff’s prior surname, [name], is restored.

 

Miscellaneous Provisions

  1. Execution of documents. The parties must properly execute and promptly deliver to each other the documents required to carry out the terms of this judgment. A certified copy of this judgment may be recorded or filed with a register of deeds, the secretary of state, or any other agency necessary to effect this judgment.
  2. Temporary orders. Except as otherwise provided in this judgment, all interim orders and injunctions entered in this action are terminated.
  3. [Note: Use if negotiated.] Bar of claims against the parties. The property division provisions of this judgment fully satisfy all claims that either party may have against the other, except for the obligations and reservations contained in it.
  4. >Retention of jurisdiction. This court retains jurisdiction for [number] days regarding the executory property division provisions of this judgment. If either party fails to comply with the terms of this judgment, the aggrieved party may apply to the court for relief.
  5. Effective date of the divorce judgment. This judgment of divorce is final on the date this written judgment is filed with and entered by the court.
  6. Termination of attorney obligation. Pursuant to MCR 2.117(C)(1), the obligations of the attorneys toward the respective parties continues for 21 days after the entry of the judgment, and the attorneys are thereafter released as attorneys of record in postjudgment proceedings unless specifically retained for such proceedings.

This judgment [resolves / does not resolve] the last pending claim and [closes / does not close] the case, except for any matter over which this court retains continuing jurisdiction by law.

Dated: ____________ /s/ ____________________________ ___________________ Court Judge

In signing this [default / consent] judgment of divorce, I verify that I have read and understand its provisions and approve its substance and form. It correctly and completely states the terms of our property settlement agreement. To the best of my knowledge, I have fully disclosed to my spouse all assets in which I have any ownership interest, and this judgment distributes all the assets and only those assets that we have disclosed to each other. I consent to the entry of this judgment.

Dated: ____________________ /s/__________________________[Typed name of Plaintiff]Plaintiff
Dated: ____________________ /s/__________________________[Typed name of Defendant]Defendant
  Dated: ____________________ [Firm name] By /s/ __________________________[Typed name of attorney (P_______)]Attorney for Plaintiff[Address, telephone]

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