Now Accepting New Clients!

DIVORCE 5: When does the 10-year statue of limitations period begin for a JOD?

In this case, the parties married in 1996, and their judgment of divorce entered in 2003. At the time of their divorce, the parties owned a mobile home together in Michigan. With regard to this marital home, the judgment of divorce stated that Plaintiff and Defendant shall continue to own the martial home as tenants in common. The house is to be continuously offered for sale until sold. Defendant shall make the house and lot payments as long as she resides in the home. At such time as Defendant moves or the house is sold, the indebtedness or profit shall be shared equally.

The mobile home eventually sold on October 21, 2009; but, the sale did not cover the balance owing on the loan. After the sale, the parties had a deficiency. According to plaintiff, between the sale of the home and January of 2015, he paid the outstanding balance on the loan, while defendant paid nothing.

On May 4, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion to enforce the judgment of divorce. In particular, plaintiff argued that, under the terms of the judgment of divorce, defendant bore equal responsibility for the outstanding indebtedness on the loan balance following the sale of the property.

Defendant filed an answer to plaintiff’s motion, and she also filed a motion for summary disposition. Defendant asserted that plaintiff’s motion to enforce the judgment of divorce was time barred by the 10-year statute of limitations because the judgment of divorce entered in 2003 and plaintiff did not bring his motion until 2015.

Following the hearing, the trial court granted summary disposition to defendant, concluding that plaintiff’s claim was time barred by the 10-year statute of limitations in MCL 600.5809(3) because the judgment of divorced entered in 2003 and plaintiff did not seek to enforce the judgment until 2015.

On appeal, the only issue is whether plaintiff’s motion to enforce the judgment of divorce was timely. The parties agree that plaintiff’s claim is subject to the 10-year statute of limitations, but they disagree about when the limitations period began to run. Plaintiff argues the limitations period began to run, when the home sold in 2009, making his motion to enforce the judgment in 2015 timely. In contrast, defendant contends that the limitations period began to run when the divorce judgment was rendered in 2003 and that the limitations period expired in 2013.

The Appeal Court has previously determined that a claim relating to a property settlement contained in a judgment of divorce, including claims relating to the disposition of real property, are subject to the 10-year statute of limitations.  Further, they have also concluded that the 10-year statute of limitations on a claim relating to a property settlement in a judgment of divorce begins to run at the time the claim accrues and that the claim accrues when the money owing under the property settlement comes due.

Although the judgment of divorce entered in 2003, plaintiff’s claim did not accrue until 2009 when the home sold and defendant failed to pay her half of the outstanding indebtedness on the home loan. Because the claim accrued in 2009, when the marital home sold in 2009, his motion to enforce the terms of the judgement of divorce in 2015 was not time barred.

Our family law attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have helped family law clients across southeast Michigan, including in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland counties, enforce the terms of judgment of divorce. Contact us at our law firm in Plymouth. We can help you determine if the terms of your judgment of divorce are being followed correctly.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

A basic introduction to wills

Originally posted on 10/31/2016 It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health. However, lives can change at any moment, so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many...

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000