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DIVORCE 41: Grounds for relief from judgment of divorce must be brought within a reasonable time.

This divorce action commenced in 2011 and the parties reached a settlement in 2013. Plaintiff submitted a proposed judgment under the seven-day rule, MCR 2.602(B)(3). Defendant filed objections.

Judgment of Divorce Entered

Ultimately, at an April 19, 2013 hearing, the trial court, after hearing the parties’ arguments, stated that it would take the matter under advisement and compare the judgment with the transcript. Thereafter, the trial court entered the judgment of divorce.

Disputes between the parties continued. Ultimately, on February 20, 2019, defendant filed a motion for relief from judgment. Defendant maintains that his objections to the original judgment of divorce were not properly resolved.

Defendants Objections

Defendant argued his primary objection was that his attorney at the time was not authorized to enter into the settlement. But at the hearing at which the settlement was entered on the record, defendant under oath stated that he agreed with the settlement.

Grounds for Relief from Judgment

Defendant filed a motion in 2019 for relief from judgment of divorce. Under MCR 2.612(C)(1), there are six grounds for relief from judgment. The first three must be brought within one year, and the others must be brought within a reasonable time.

No court would think six years later is within a reasonable time.  But even if it were a reasonable amount of time, in this case, the Court would still deny the motion because there was an agreement placed on the record.

Advice to Clients Facing Divorces

At Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys and staff understand the stress that can come with divorces. Our firm is committed to helping you find resolutions, allowing you to move on with your life in a positive way. In order to protect your rights, it is important to have an experienced attorney.

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