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Does it matter who files the complaint?

Once we reach an agreement, does it matter who files the complaint for divorce?
That depends. The person who files will have to make a very brief appearance in court to offer the Judgment of Divorce to the judge for approval. While your collaborative attorney will be with you, and guide you through that brief hearing, you or your spouse may find that intimidating or unappealing. Also, because Michigan does not allow for joint filing of a divorce complaint, one person (referred to as the “Plaintiff”) files the complaint and is the spouse asking for a divorce. The other spouse is referred to as the “Defendant.” Sometimes those labels, and being technically the spouse seeking a divorce, are factors for you in determining whether you would prefer to file or would prefer that your spouse do so.

The important thing to remember is that your desires and concerns around the decision of who files, and your spouse’s, will be explored in session and a decision will be reached that feels acceptable to you both

 

 
By Deborah Bennett Berecz
Collaborative Lawyer