In Michigan, when all terms of a divorce are agreed upon by the parties, there is a special process that can expedite the divorce process and lower costs, called “Summary Proceedings”.
While some people may assume that because both parties agree to the divorce, it is a “no contest” divorce. However, this is untrue. While it helps that both parties agree a divorce should occur, oftentimes there are disagreements about how to accomplish that divorce. Meaning, how should property be divided, what property is marital and what is separate, who should be awarded custody of the children, what parenting time should each parent have, should spousal support be awarded to someone and in what amount, etc. If you don’t know the answer to all of these, you need to file a traditional divorce or a collaborative divorce.
If on the other hand you both agree a divorce should occur, and you agree on how property should be divided, custody should be awarded, and parenting time, you may be a candidate for “summary proceedings” – which is a shorter, and usually less costly process than either a traditional or collaborative divorce.
Summary Proceedings require that both parties jointly file the complaint for divorce and that a Consent Judgment of Divorce is filed at the same time (different from a traditional divorce, where the Complaint is filed, and then the parties negotiate a settlement that results in a Consent Judgment of Divorce).
In Michigan, whether you have children or not, you cannot get divorced any sooner than 60 days from the date the Complaint for Divorce is filed. However, if you have children, the statutory rule is that you cannot get divorced any sooner than 6 months from the date the Complaint for Divorce is filed. Under Summary Proceedings, if you have children, you can ask the Court to grant your divorce after 60 days – significantly shortening the timeline.
If you think a No-Contest / Summary Proceedings Divorce is right for you, call for your free 20-minute phone consultation.