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Michigan Divorce Forms
This is a list of the most commonly filed divorce forms for the state of Michigan. Following the list is a brief summary of each form and its purpose. This list of forms is not exhaustive and not all forms listed are required for every divorce. Due to unique case situations and special divorce filing procedures in Michigan, certain forms may or may not be required by the Michigan courts.
Summons and Complaint [MC-01 (3/06)]
Summons and Complaint gives the Defendant 21 days to answer the Complaint if he or she is in Michigan and 28 days if he or she is out of state, and it puts the him or her on record as being informed of his or her rights. With the Summons, he or she receives a copy of the Complaint for Divorce. The person serving these papers -- a Sheriff, Deputy or Process Server -- returns the Proof of Service form, which becomes part of the record of the case. The form is two-sided, and it must be acknowledged and notarized.
Friend of the Court Case Questionnaire [FOC-39A-D (9/06)]
The Office of the Friend of the Court assists the court in domestic problems related to divorce cases. The Friend of the Court conducts investigations, holds hearings and makes recommendations on matters of property division, alimony, child support and visitation, and it collects, processes and accounts for alimony and child support. The Friend of the Court Case Questionnaire, a four-page form, profiles the divorcing couple’s family situation.
Complaint for Divorce
Complaint for Divorce starts the action. The four-page form includes statistical information about both parties, identifies the grounds, identifies minor children, establishes whether or not property is to be divided, whether support is sought. It also stipulates whether or not the spouses have achieved a Marital Settlement Agreement, and whether or not they request that it be incorporated in the Judgment of Divorce.
Marital Settlement Agreement
This agreement, which is signed by both the husband and the wife, may be customized to include provisions unique to the couple’s situation, but at a minimum it deals with the terms and condition of their separation, including the terms of child custody, child support, health care insurance, child visitation, the division of property and debt and alimony.
Judgment or Divorce
This form puts the terms and conditions of the Marital Settlement Agreement in the form of a Court Order.
Default Request, Affidavit, Entry and Judgment [MC-07A (5/07)]
A Default Request, Affidavit, Entry and Judgment requests that the court enter a judgment when the Defendant fails to respond to the Complaint for Divorce within the allotted time, normally 21 days for someone in Michigan. This one-page form is a Request and Affidavit, the Order of Entry and the Judgment.
Answer and Waiver
When he or she agrees with the divorce, an Answer and Waiver, a one-page form, establishes that the Defendant has received the Complaint for Divorce and agrees to let the action proceed. By signing this, the Defendant requests that the court enter a Judgment of Divorce.
Request for Certificate of Military Service Status
The Request for Certificate of Military Service Status must be filed to authenticate that the Plaintiff established that the Defendant is not in a branch of the armed forces and does not enjoy any protection from civil litigation afforded service personnel under the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act.
Notice of Hearing [FOC-7 (10/04)]
A Notice of Hearing informs the Defendant of the time, date and place of the divorce hearing, which is scheduled after the appropriate divorce papers have been filed. The Notice includes a Certificate of Mailing, which establishes that the Plaintiff mailed the Defendant the Notice.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit [MC-416 (5/07)]
A Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit must be completed if there are minor children in the divorce. This affidavit, filed by the Plaintiff, establishes the legitimate home state of any minor children and is used in conjunction with the prevention of child abuse as well as parental kidnapping. The Affiant swears that he or she knows of no other custody action involving the children in Michigan or another other state or any other party claiming legal or physical custody of the children.
Verified Statement and Application for IV-D Services [FOC-23 (9/06)]
A Verified Statement and Application for IV-D Services is filed if there are minor children in the divorce. The Friend of the Court uses the information on the statement and application for Social Security IV-D support services and for collecting, recording and enforcing child support.
Motion and Verification for Alternative Service [MC-303 (3/06)]
The Motion and Verification for Alternative Service is used in conjunction with an Order for Alternative Service and, sometimes, an Order for Service by Publication/Posting and Notice of Action when a Plaintiff has made unsuccessful attempts to serve a Defendant who cannot or will not be located to accept the divorce papers. The Motion and Verification permit the court to order alternative service, and it includes a verification by the Process Server that he or she unsuccessfully tried to serve the Defendant.
Order for Alternative Service [MC-304 (3/06)]
The Order for Alternative Service permits service of the divorce papers -- the Summons, Complaint and a copy of the Order -- to be delivered by a) first-class mail, b) "[t]acking or firmly attaching [them] to the door..." or c) delivering them to a definite address. In each case, a proof of service must be filed.
Order for Service by Publication/Posting and Notice of Action [MC-307 (8/88)]
The Order for Service by Publication/Posting and Notice of Action permits the Plaintiff to advertise the divorce action once a week for three consecutive weeks in a designated newspaper. In addition, he or she must post a copy of the Order for Service by Publication at a designated location in the courthouse, and send a copy of the order to the last known location of the Defendant by registered mail, return receipt requested. After this has been done, the Defendant must file an Affidavit of Mailing authenticating that these steps have been taken. The Defendant is then considered served.
Notice of Taking Records Deposition
The Notice of Taking Records Deposition is filed in a contested divorce action when the parties gather information in discovery, usually in preparation for a divorce trial. This notice stipulates records a party wishes to copy.
Michigan divorce courts always encourage the separating spouses to agree to joint custody unless it is not in the best interest of the child. Michigan state law requires child custody based on the best interests of the child principle. The best interests of a child include the emotional bond between the child and each of the parents, the parent's capacity to give the child both financial and emotional support, the moral aptitude of each parent, and the mental and physical well-being of each parent.
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