The statutory waiting period for a Michigan divorce

Image result for waitingThe Michigan divorce statutory waiting period

The statutory waiting period for a Michigan divorce is dictated by statute. 

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The Law – Michigan Compiled Laws 552.9f (MCL 552.9f)

The statutory waiting period for a Michigan divorce is found in Michigan Compiled Laws 552.9f.  MCL 552.9f provides that a Michigan divorce without a minor child must wait until “ . . . the expiration of 60 days from the time of filing the bill of complaint . . .” before the divorce can be granted.   

The same statute, MCL 552.9f provides that a Michigan divorce with a minor child (under the age of 18) a divorce cannot take place “until the expiration of 6 months from the day the bill of complaint is filed.” 

In simple terms, the statutory waiting period for a divorce in Michigan without a  minor child is 60 days and the statutory waiting period for a divorce with a minor child is 6 months. 

Exceptions to the statutory waiting period for a Michigan divorce

The statutory waiting period for a divorce in Michigan without a minor child has a very limited exception for cases of desertion.  This exception is virtually never utilized.

The statutory waiting period for a divorce in Michigan with a minor child has a much broader exception.  The statutory waiting period statute provides that:  “In cases of unusual hardship or such compelling necessity as shall appeal to the conscience of the court, upon petition and proper showing, [a court] may take testimony at any time after the expiration of 60 days from the time of filing the bill of complaint.”

In many circumstances a court will waive the 6 month statutory waiting period for a divorce in Michigan with a minor child.  Many judges (but not all) will liberally apply the “unusual hardship or such compelling necessity” exception to the statutory waiting period for a Michigan divorce with a minor child.  If so, these cases can completed after 60 days and before 6 months from the filing of the complaint for divorce.

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By:  Daniel Findling

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