Waiving the mandatory waiting period before divorce

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

Can the mandatory waiting period before a divorce is finalized ever be waived?

Also, can the court cancel a divorce case if proceedings are not moving along?



In Michigan, where I practice, a divorce that involves minor children has a mandatory six month waiting period. The rationale behind this is to give the parties an opportunity to reconcile, if possible.

However, a judge may waive the waiting period if it is in the best interest of the children. Usually at a settlement conference an oral motion can be made for waiver of the statutory waiting period.

A judge cannot just cancel a divorce, without reason. However, after being served with the complaint for divorce, the defendant has 21 days to file an answer. If an answer is not filed, the plaintiff can obtain a default.

After a default is entered the defendant has 21 days to set aside the default. In order to set aside a default the defendant must show good cause and a meritorious defense. If the default is not set aside within the time period, a default judgment can be entered against the defendant.

Although I practice law in Michigan, I cannot give you legal advice without thoroughly reviewing your case. Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact a managed divorce attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell does represent clients in Michigan.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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