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Sample Affidavit in Support, Void Ab Initio

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					                            Starting the Divorce Action1
                                        Marjory B. Cohen
                                      Mogill Posner & Cohen
                                              Detroit
   I. Preparations for Filing the Case. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
  II. Serving the Defendant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-12
Exhibits
   Exhibit A Sample Property Injunction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-15
   Exhibit B Allegations in Complaint in Support of Request for Financial
             Status Quo Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-19
   Exhibit C Sample Financial Status Quo Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-21
   Exhibit D Sample Complaint for Divorce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-23
   Exhibit E Certificate on Behalf of Plaintiff Regarding Ex Parte Interim
             Support Order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-29
   Exhibit F Complaint and Filing Checklists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-31
   Exhibit G Letter to the Defendant re: Acknowledgment of Service. . . . . . . . . . . . 3-33

                              I.    Preparations for Filing the Case
A.     Introduction
     Before drafting the complaint, review your overall goals, theory and strategy of the
case. Explain options and assist your client in making decisions regarding seeking the
entry of Ex Parte orders, about what custodial arrangement to request, manner and timing
of service on Defendant, etc.
     With mere notice filing requirements and the use of boilerplate language, many com-
plaints can have a canned, uninformative appearance. Consider instead that the complaint
is your initial opportunity to present and argue your case to both the court and your oppo-
sition. Careful drafting and proof-reading will lead to concise, clear pleadings which will
convey to opposing counsel, to both parties and to the Court that you are a highly compe-
tent, meticulous and conscientious practitioner.
B.    Initial Considerations
   Determine if Your Complaint is For Divorce, Separate Maintenance or Annul-
ment. Select the remedy which best suits your client’s overall objectives and needs.

      •    Divorce. The sole ground for divorce in Michigan is “no-fault;" i.e., that there has
           been a breakdown in the marital relationship to the extent that the objects of mat-
           rimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the
           marriage can be preserved. MCL 552.6(1). No other statement of grounds is per-

      1. Special thanks to Jan Rewers McMillan for allowing me to borrow liberally and
heavily from an excellent outline she’d prepared for an earlier ICLE seminar in preparing
these materials.

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                  Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006

          mitted in the complaint. Id. If evidence is presented in open court as to this stan-
          dard, the court is required to grant a divorce. MCL 552.6(3).
     •    Separate Maintenance. An action for separate maintenance proceeds along the
          same course as an action for divorce and is distinguished only in that it does not
          dissolve the marriage between the parties. MCL 552.7. Separate maintenance
          may be desired by a client for religious or health care reasons, or in an instance
          when the client does not wish to be divorced, but is not being adequately sup-
          ported by his/her spouse and/or is being denied access to marital assets and there-
          fore needs court intervention. However, a client should be advised that if the
          defendant files a counterclaim for divorce, the court will proceed to enter a judg-
          ment of divorce rather than separate maintenance. MCL 552.7(4)(b).
     •    Annulment. A divorce dissolves an existing valid marriage between the parties.
          Annulment orders that because of a defect, a valid marriage between the parties
          never existed. Marriages may be found to be void ab initio or voidable. If void-
          able, the marriage is valid until one of the parties brings an action for annulment.
          The action must be brought while both parties are living, and, until a court
          declares the marriage annulled, it is legally binding. The action for annulment,
          like separate maintenance, proceeds as for divorce. MCL 552.3. The children of
          an annulled marriage are generally considered legitimate. MCL 552.1.
              Unlike a no-fault divorce, in which the client need only testify that there has
          been a breakdown in the marital relationship to the extent that the objects of mat-
          rimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the
          marriage can be preserved in order to be entitled to be divorced, the grounds for
          annulment must be proven. As a practical matter, then, the client may incur more
          litigation costs in filing for annulment than for divorce.
               The grounds for annulment in Michigan set forth in MCL 552.1-552.2 are:
          1.     Consanguinity/Affinity. If the marriage was solemnized in Michigan, it is
                 void if the man or woman married certain individuals.

                     551.3. Incapacity; persons a man cannot marry
                     Sec. 3. A man shall not marry his mother, sister, grandmother, daughter,
                     granddaughter, stepmother, grandfather’s wife, son’s wife, grandson’s
                     wife, wife’s mother, wife’s grandmother, wife’s daughter, wife’s grand-
                     daughter, brother’s daughter, sister’s daughter, father’s sister, mother’s
                     sister, or cousin of the first degree, or another man.
                     551.4. Persons a woman cannot marry
                     Sec. 4. A woman shall not marry her father, brother, grandfather, son,
                     grandson, stepfather, grandmother’s husband, daughter’s husband, grand-
                     daughter’s husband, husband’s father, husband’s grandfather, husband’s
                     son, husband’s grandson, brother’s son, sister’s son, father’s brother,
                     mother’s brother, or cousin of the first degree, or another woman.
                     MCL 551.3, 551.4. Note that in Michigan, same sex marriages are void.

          2.     Existing Prior Spouse. A bigamous marriage is void. MCL 552.1.


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                                    Starting the Divorce Action

         3.   Lack of Mental Capacity. The term “not capable in law” was recently sub-
              stituted for the old “insanity” and “idiocy” language of years passed. MCL
              552.1. Therefore, lack of mental capacity sufficient to form a marriage may
              rise to the level to render a marriage void. The burden of such proof is on the
              plaintiff. Blackstone v. Standard Life & Accident Ins. Co., 74 Mich 592
              (1889). However, insanity which develops after a marriage ceremony is
              insufficient grounds for annulment. VanHaaften v. VanHaaften, 139 Mich
              479 (1905)
         4.   Age. A person must reach 18 years of age before becoming capable of con-
              tracting marriage in Michigan. However, if a person is 16 years of age and
              has the consent of one parent or guardian, he or she may contract marriage.
              MCL 551.103. If a marriage was solemnized while either party was under
              the age of legal consent and they separate while still underage and do not
              cohabitate thereafter, the marriage is capable of annulment. MCL 552.2;
              MCL 552.36.
         5.   Fraud or Duress. If a marriage were solemnized and the consent of one of
              the parties was obtained by fraud and there was no subsequent voluntary
              cohabitation of the parties, that marriage is capable of annulment. MCL
              552.2; MCL 552.36.
         6.   Physical Incapacity. A suit to annul a marriage on the ground of physical
              incapacity of one of the parties shall be brought by the injured party only
              and within two years of solemnization of the marriage. MCL 552.39.

     Determine Case Classification Code. MCR 2.113(C)(1)(c) requires a plaintiff to
assign one case-type code from a list provided by the State Court Administrator according
to the principal subject matter of the action and to include this code in the caption of the
complaint.
     The list of case-type codes can be found in the Michigan Rules of Court immediately
following MCR 8.117. Applicable codes for the “Family Division—Domestic Relations”
cases are found at section A(6). The listing of codes is extensive, but for purposes of a
divorce, the code will be either:

    DM—All complaints for divorce, separate maintenance or annulment when minor chil-
    dren are involved; or
    DO—All complaints for divorce, separate maintenance or annulment when no minor
    children are involved; or
    DZ—All other prejudgment matters involving domestic relations proceedings not other-
    wise coded. This would include an action for annulment.

    Identify Prior Actions. Under MCR 3.206(A)(4) the caption of each complaint for
divorce, annulment or separate maintenance must contain a recitation of either:

    There is no other pending or resolved action within the jurisdiction of the family division
    of the circuit court involving the family or family members of the person[s] who [is/are]
    the subject of the complaint or petition; or



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                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006

     An action within the jurisdiction of the family division of the circuit court involving the
     family or family members of the person[s] who [is/are] the subject of the complaint or
     petition has been previously filed in [this court]/[____ Court], where it was given docket
     number ___ and was assigned to Judge _________. The action [remains]/[is no longer]
     pending.
     MCR 3.206(A)(4)(a) and (b)

    In theory, the purpose for this language is to provide the court clerk with an affidavit
akin to the requirements of MCR 8.111(D)(2) which states:

     (2) if an action arises out of the same transaction or occurrence as a civil action previ-
     ously dismissed or transferred, the action must be assigned to the judge to whom the ear-
     lier action was assigned.

     MCR 8.111(D)(3) carries with it a sanction for knowingly failing to do so:

     (3) the attorney for the party bringing the other action under subrule (1) or the new
     action under subrule (2) shall notify the clerk of the fact in writing in the manner pre-
     scribed in MCR 2.113(C)(2). An attorney who knowingly fails to do so is subject to dis-
     ciplinary action.

    Although the reference above is to the requirement as to civil complaints generally, it
should otherwise also apply to domestic relations cases as well.
     A problem arises in providing the written notification required above, as to the mean-
ing of the term “family or family members.” For example, if your client was divorced pre-
viously in the Wayne County Circuit Court and comes to you seeking a divorce in the
same court from her second husband, must the first divorce case be identified as a prior
action so that the same judge can be assigned? Or, if your client’s spouse was divorced in
that same court from his or her first spouse, must this be identified as a prior? The consid-
erations can become extremely complex given the propensities for multiplicities of mar-
riages and the resulting extension of the traditional definition of “family.”
     Since unspecified disciplinary action, including a fine, can result if this information is
not properly provided, it is recommended that a thorough analysis of the issue and/or
familiarizing yourself with practice in your local jurisdiction take place so as to comply as
best as possible with the ethical obligation.
    Consider In Personam Jurisdiction. An essential element of any complaint is per-
sonal jurisdiction over the defendant. As with any other complaint, this aspect must be
considered with a complaint for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance.
     Special consideration must be given to the non-resident defendant. Under MCL
552.9a, no divorce judgment may enter in any case except when one of the following
exists:

     1. Defendant is domiciled in Michigan at the time the complaint is filed;
     2.   Defendant was domiciled in Michigan at the time the cause of action for the
          divorce arose; or



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                                   Starting the Divorce Action

    3.   Defendant was personally served in Michigan or served by publication or has
         voluntarily appeared in the action or has been served with a copy of an order for
         appearance and publication either in Michigan or elsewhere.

     However, should service be effectuated as in (3) above, the statute further requires
special verification of the person making the service before a notary public and if such ser-
vice is made outside of Michigan there must also be attached the certificate of the clerk of
a court of record, certifying to the official character of the notary and the genuineness of
his or her signature. MCL 552.9a.
      Consider Subject Matter Jurisdiction and Venue. A complaint must include resi-
dency language, which is jurisdictional in nature, i.e., that one of the parties has resided in
Michigan for at least 180 and in the county in which the complaint was filed for 10 days
prior to the filing of the complaint. MCL 552.9(1). A thorough discussion of the issue of
residence is beyond the scope of these materials. However, the practitioner is advised to be
mindful that residency in Michigan is the necessary element to vest the court with jurisdic-
tion over the dissolution of the marriage. For this purpose, residence is defined in its tradi-
tional legal sense – the place of a permanent home where a party intends to remain. See,
e.g., Banfield v. Banfield, 318 Mich 38 (1947). Therefore, standard considerations as to
traditional indicia of residency must be considered. (For a more thorough analysis on point
see Michigan Family Law, Sixth Edition, § 6.2 et seq.)

     •   Venue Exception. An exception to the 10-day residency requirement in the
         county is permitted if all of the following apply and are set forth in the complaint:
              (a) The defendant was born in, or is a citizen of, a country other than the
              United States of America.
              (b) The parties to the divorce action have a minor child or children.
              (c) There is information that would allow the court to reasonably conclude
              that the minor child or children are at risk of being taken out of the United
              States of America and retained in another country by the defendant.
         MCL 552.9 (2).
     •   Child Custody Jurisdiction Distinguished. It is necessary to note that whether a
         court is vested with jurisdiction to dissolve a marriage is separate and distinct
         from whether it is vested with and may exercise jurisdiction to determine custody.
         Custody jurisdiction is determined by reference to the Uniform Child Custody
         Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA), MCL 722.1101. Unlike its predecessor, the
         UCCJEA, the new act is more comprehensive, emphasizes enforcement over
         modification of foreign custody orders and brings the former UCCJA more in
         keeping with the federal Parental Kidnapping Protection Act and the Violence
         Against Women Act.
            The UCCJEA applies to requests for both initial and modification determina-
         tions of custody. Therefore, allegations supporting initial custody jurisdiction
         must be included in the complaint. Bases for initial jurisdiction are set forth in
         MCL 722.1201 as follows:



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               Sec. 201. (1) Except as otherwise provided in section 204, a court of this state
               has jurisdiction to make an initial child-custody determination only in the fol-
               lowing situations:
               (a) This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of
               the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the
               commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a
               parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state.
               (b) A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under subdivision (a), or
               a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on
               the ground that this state is the more appropriate forum under section 207 or
               208, and the court finds both of the following:
                     (i) The child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least 1 parent or a
                     person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this state
                     other than mere physical presence.
                     (ii) Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child’s
                     care, protection, training, and personal relationships.
               (c) All courts having jurisdiction under subdivision (a) or (b) have declined to
               exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that a court of this state is the more appro-
               priate forum to determine the custody of the child under section 207 or 208.
               (d) No court of another state would have jurisdiction under subdivision (a), (b),
               or (c).
               (2) Subsection (1) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child-cus-
               tody determination by a court of this state.
               (3) Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is nei-
               ther necessary nor sufficient to make a child-custody determination.

    Consider Seeking Ex Parte Orders. Courts often enter certain orders a divorce,
annulment or separate maintenance case either on an ex parte basis or after a hearing.
Practices and procedures in issuing such orders vary widely from circuit court to circuit
court, and among individual judges within each court.
     Allegations must be made in the Complaint or in an affidavit setting forth specific
verified facts as to the reason(s) that the order is needed ex parte including an allegation
that “irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay required to effect
notice” or “that the notice itself will precipitate adverse action before an order can be
issued.” Any ex parte order if effective upon entry and enforceable upon service. MCR
3.207(B)(3). An ex parte order remains in effect only until modified or superseded by the
entry of a temporary or final order. MCR 3.207(B)(4).
     It is important to read and follow the dictates of MCR 3.207(B)(1) and MCR 3.310.
     Possible orders include

     •    Mutual Restraining Orders. These are orders restraining either party from
          “transferring, assigning, removing, hiding, concealing, selling, damaging, secret-
          ing, converting or otherwise disposing of the marital assets and the assets of the
          parties, except for the necessities of life,” for example. The underlying policy of


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                              Starting the Divorce Action

    these orders is the maintenance of the status quo and to restrain both parties from
    placing assets beyond the reach of the court.
      Orders can and should be tailored to the specific concerns to be addressed in
    each case. An order may include:
    1.     A provision prohibiting either party from removing furniture or furnishings
           or other marital property from the marital home or any other specific loca-
           tion;
    2.     A provision prohibiting either party from incurring extraordinary debt;
    3.     A provision prohibiting either party from changing beneficiaries on any life
           insurance, health insurance policy, retirement account, etc.
         See sample order Exhibit A for other possible terms.
       Serving Third Parties with Mutual Restraining Orders. Orders may also be
    served on a third party having control of marital assets such as a bank or other
    financial institution or an employer. In appropriate cases, this can prevent viola-
    tions of the orders for which no satisfactory remedy may be available. Caution
    and care should be used in deciding whether to serve the order on a third party.
    For example, the orders typically include language indicating that marital assets
    may be used for customary and necessary expenses, but financial institutions
    have no way of knowing what purpose money might be withdrawn to serve.
    Some banks routinely close accounts after being served with injunctions, causing
    bounced checks and other problems.
        Timing and planning service where restraining order is obtained. Where there
    are serious concerns about dissipation of assets by the opposing party, it is impor-
    tant to plan and time the service of the Complaint and Ex Parte Orders so as to
    avoid giving the Defendant notice and an opportunity to violate the order before
    it is formally served.
•   Ex Parte Custody and Child Support Orders. Many judges will routinely sign an
    order granting temporary physical custody to the Plaintiff and requiring Defen-
    dant to pay temporary child support, health and day care expenses based upon the
    allegations in the Complaint and on Child Support Formula Guidelines calcula-
    tions prepared by Plaintiff’s counsel based on the incomes of the parties as
    reflected in the Verified Statement (SCAO FOC form 23) which must be filed
    along with the Complaint, especially where Plaintiff alleges that she and the chil-
    dren are residing separately from the Defendant. A Uniform Child Support Order
    must be entered and Judgment Information Form filed with the Friend of the
    Court. See discussion under “Drafting the Pleadings” supra at page 11.
•   Financial Status Quo Orders. In lieu of an Ex Parte child support order, or in
    cases with no minor children, judges often enter “Status Quo” orders requiring
    the parties to continue handling their financial affairs in the same manner while
    the divorce is pending as they did prior to its inception.
      When seeking an ex parte status quo order, include specific allegations in the
    Complaint outlining how the parties handle their financial affairs. The order
    should repeat the same specific provisions as were in the Complaint. In this man-

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          ner, the parties are aware of their precise obligations, and/or the Defendant may
          object if he believes that they have been mis-stated. See Exhibit B, sample alle-
          gations for Complaint, and Exhibit C, sample order.
     •    Personal Protection Orders. Where a client is in genuine fear of his/her spouse
          due to past violence, threats of violence, harassment, etc. a Petition for Personal
          Protection Order (PPO) may be filed simultaneously with the Complaint for
          Divorce. The rather complex rules and requirements are set forth in subchapter
          3.700 of the Michigan Rules of Court, MCR 3.701 through 3.709 and in MCL
          600.2950 and MCL 600.2950a, b and c.
             Because forms are available at the court clerks’ offices and because offices are
          located in most circuit courts where applicants are “walked through” the proce-
          dures by court staff, it is generally advised that a client pursue the entry of a PPO
          on his or her own behalf, although counsel should oversee the process. Discretion
          is advised in that a PPO should not be requested and/or obtained merely as case
          strategy. It is recommended, therefore, that PPOs be obtained only when neces-
          sary under the actual facts and circumstances of the case. The SCAO approved
          forms relating to PPOs are found at http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/
          personalprotectionorders/ppoindex.htm.

C.    Drafting the Pleadings
     Generally. Subchapter 3.200 (MCR 3.201-3.219) of the Michigan Rules of Court
deals specifically with “Domestic Relations Actions.” MCR 3.201(A) indicates that the
rules of that subchapter apply to “actions for divorce, separate maintenance, the annul-
ment of marriage, the affirmation of marriage, paternity” and other matters. Therefore, an
initial first resource for the practitioner is this subchapter of the Michigan Rules of Court.
     The initial pleadings generally include a summons, complaint, verified statement (if
minor children), proposed ex parte orders and affidavits, if any. Filing requirements, how-
ever, will vary by county.
     Summons. Generally prepared by the attorney for the plaintiff from SCOA form MC
01. In Wayne County, the clerk of court issues the summons at the time of filing.
     Complaint.

     •    Required Allegations. Allegations required in a complaint in a domestic relations
          matter, including those set forth above, are found in MCR 3.206(A) as follows:

               (A) Information in Complaint.
               (1) Except for matters considered confidential by statute or court rule, in all
               domestic relations actions, the complaint must state
                     (a) the allegations required by applicable statutes;
                     (b) the residence information required by statute;
                     (c) the complete names of all parties; and
                     (d) the complete names and dates of birth of any minors involved in the
                     action, including all minor children of the parties and all minor children
                     born during the marriage.

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                            Starting the Divorce Action

    (2) In a case that involves a minor, or if child support is requested, the com-
    plaint also must state whether any Michigan court has prior continuing juris-
    diction of the minor. If so, the complaint must specify the court and the file
    number.
    (3) In a case in which the custody of a minor is to be determined, the complaint
    or an affidavit attached to the complaint also must state the information
    required by MCL 722.1209.
    (4) The caption of the complaint must also contain either (a) or (b) as a state-
    ment of the attorney for the plaintiff or petitioner, or of a plaintiff or petitioner
    appearing without an attorney:
         (a) There is no other pending or resolved action within the jurisdiction of
         the family division of the circuit court involving the family or family
         members of the person[s] who [is/are] the subject of the complaint or
         petition.
         (b) An action within the jurisdiction of the family division of the circuit
         court involving the family or family members of the person[s] who [is/
         are] the subject of the complaint or petition has been previously filed in
         [this court]/[______ Court], where it was given docket number _____
         and was assigned to Judge _________. The action [remains]/[is no
         longer] pending.
    (5) In an action for divorce, separate maintenance, annulment of marriage, or
    affirmation of marriage, regardless of the contentions of the parties with
    respect to the existence or validity of the marriage, the complaint also must
    state
         (a) the names of the parties before the marriage;
         (b) whether there are minor children of the parties or minor children born
         during the marriage;
         (c) whether a party is pregnant;
         (d) the factual grounds for the action, except that in an action for divorce
         or separate maintenance the grounds must be stated in the statutory lan-
         guage, without further particulars; and
         (e) whether there is property to be divided.
    (6) A party who requests spousal support in an action for divorce, separate
    maintenance, annulment, affirmation of marriage, or spousal support, must
    allege facts sufficient to show a need for such support and that the other party
    is able to pay.
    (7) A party who requests an order for personal protection or for the protection
    of property, including but not limited to restraining orders and injunctions
    against domestic violence, must allege facts sufficient to support the relief
    requested.

  Allegations and residence information “required by statute” under subsection
(A)(1)(a) above are as follows, i.e., for grounds for divorce: “There has been a
breakdown in the marital relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony
have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage
can be preserved.” MCL 552.6(1). For residence, as stated above, there must be

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                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006

          an allegation that one of the parties has resided in Michigan for 180 days and in
          the county of filing for 10 days prior to the filing. MCL 552.9(1). MCL 552.9(2),
          however, provides an exception to the 10-day county residence requirement.
     •    Additional Suggested Allegations.
           •   Allegations supporting ex parte, temporary or permanent relief regarding the
               minor children, or injunctive relief.
           •   Allegations regarding attorney fees. An allegation or two concerning the
               need for the payment of attorney fees is commonly included in a complaint
               for divorce, annulment or separate maintenance, and attorney fees and
               expenses may be granted by the court on an interim basis early in the case as
               provided by MCR 3.206(C)(1) so long as allegations “are sufficient to show
               that the party is unable to bear the expense of the action, and the other party
               is able to pay.” MCR 3.206(C)(2).
           •   Allegations regarding restoration of name. If your client wishes restoration
               of her maiden name, a request should be included in your prayer for relief.
           •   Prayer for Relief. Request both temporary and final relief sought.
           •   Signatures and Date. The complaint must be verified by the plaintiff and
               countersigned by the attorney representing the plaintiff. MCR 2.114(C)(1).
               The form of declaration made by the plaintiff is, “I attest that the above
               statements are true to the best of my information, knowledge and belief.”
               MCR 2.114(B)(2)(6). The complaint should be dated at the end.

     A sample Complaint for Divorce is attached as Exhibit D.
     Verified Statement/DM Cases (with minor children). Pursuant to MCR
3.206(B)(1), in an action involving a minor child, or if child support or spousal support is
requested, the party seeking the relief must provide to the Friend of the Court and attach a
verified statement to the papers served on the other party. The standardized Verified State-
ment is FOC form 23 which can be downloaded at http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/court-
forms/domesticrelations/focgeneral/foc23.pdf “Verified Statement” is form FOC 23. The
required information requested on the verified statement form is set forth in MCR
3.206(B).
     Ex Parte and Temporary Orders
     In addition to specific verified facts set forth either in the complaint or an accompany-
ing affidavit that “irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay required to
effect notice” or “that the notice itself will precipitate adverse action before an order can
be issued.” MCR 3.207(B)(1), all ex parte orders providing for child support, custody, or
parenting time must include the following Notice:

     Notice:
     1. You may file a written objection to this order or a motion to modify or rescind this
     order. You must file the written objection or motion with the clerk of the court within 14
     days after you were served with this order. You must serve a true copy of the objection or
     motion on the friend of the court and the party who obtained the order.


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    2. If you file a written objection, the friend of the court must try to resolve the dispute. If
    the friend of the court cannot resolve the dispute and if you wish to bring the matter
    before the court without the assistance of counsel, the friend of the court must provide
    you with form pleadings and written instructions and must schedule a hearing with the
    court.
    3. The ex parte order will automatically become a temporary order if you do not file a
    written objection or motion to modify or rescind the ex parte order and a request for a
    hearing. Even if an objection is filed, the ex parte order will remain in effect and must be
    obeyed unless changed by a later court order.

     Wayne County: Certificate on Behalf of Plaintiff Regarding Ex Parte Interim
Support Order. This form is required for filing with the complaint in Wayne County Cir-
cuit Court. Note that the form is two-sided. Exhibit E.
      Uniform Child Support Orders and Judgment Information Form. Commencing
January 1, 2006, Uniform Child Support Orders must be entered along with for all custody
and support orders. See http://courts.michigan.gov/supremecourt/Resources/Administra-
tive/2004-55-110805.pdf for a full discussion of the specific requirements, including that
the Uniform Order must be incorporated by reference into any broader order which
includes custody or support provisions, and that the Uniform Order will govern if in con-
flict with the underlying order.
    The Judgment Information form may be found at http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/
courtforms/domesticrelations/focgeneral/foc100.pdf
     For Uniform Child Support Order where support will be paid through MiSDU/FOC,
see http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/domesticrelations/support/foc10.pdf
    For Uniform Child Support Order where support will be paid directly, see http://
courts.michigan.gov/scao/courtforms/domesticrelations/support/foc10a.pdf
    Other Ex Parte Orders. Other ex parte orders must state:

    Notice
    1. You may file a written objection to the order or a motion to modify or rescind the
    order. This order will automatically become a temporary order if you do not file a writ-
    ten objection or motion to modify or rescind the ex parte order and a request for a hear-
    ing.
    2. The written objection or motion must be filed with the clerk of the court, and a true
    copy of the objection or motion must be provided to the Friend of the Court and the
    party who obtained the order and all other parties within 14 days after you were served
    with the order.
    3. If there is a timely objection or a motion and request for a hearing, the hearing must
    be held within 21 days after the objection or motion and request are filed.
    4. This Ex Parte Order for Mutual Preliminary Injunction will remain in effect and must
    be obeyed unless changed by a later order of the court. Any change that occurs after the
    hearing on the objection or motion may be made retroactive to the date that this order
    was entered.

   Proposed Ex Parte Orders. Prepare a proposed order at the time you prepare the
complaint and attendant documents. The original of the proposed order, along with the
                                                 3-11        The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006

desired number of copies and a copy of the complaint and affidavits, if any, are taken after
filing of the complaint to the assigned judge’s chambers for entry.
     Temporary Orders. Temporary orders differ from ex parte orders in that they are the
result of a motion under MCR 3.207(C) and a hearing. If you seek relief beyond the scope
of what the Court will enter on an ex parte basis, such as for temporary spousal support or
division of marital expenses, you must file a motion for such relief. Be sure and include a
Praecipe and Notice of Hearing. By filing motions simultaneously with the filing of the
Complaint, motion fees can be avoided Temporary orders will also often result when
objections are filed to any ex parte orders entered. At the subsequent hearing before the
assigned judge, either the terms of the ex parte order will be modified, the order set aside
and a temporary order entered reflecting the new terms, or the terms of the ex parte order
will be adopted into a temporary order. In any instance the temporary order remains in
effect until “further order of the court.” MCR 3.207(C)(5).
     Initial Discovery Pleadings. Especially in cases not involving minor children which
have only a 60-day minimum waiting period before Judgment may enter, it is often advis-
able to begin the discovery process as soon as possible. Consider serving Interrogatories,
Requests for Admissions and/or Requests for Production of Documents simultaneously
with the Summons, Complaint for Divorce, and other initial pleadings
     Checklists. Checklists for the complaint and for filing are attached at Exhibit F.

                                II.    Serving the Defendant
A.    What Must be Served
     All pleadings filed must be served on the defendant. MCR 2.107. Typically this will
include the summons, complaint, verified statement, any affidavits and/or ex parte orders.
In addition, if any motions have been filed with notice of hearing, these would be included
along with computer-generated case labels for Defendant, if your county uses labels. In
addition, MCR 3.203(D) requires that a Friend of the Court Informational Pamphlet be
included with process if there are minor children involved, or if child or spousal support is
requested.
B.    The Mode of Service
     Service of process in a domestic relations case is, in large part, effectuated under the
general service rule at MCR 2.105 which provides for personal delivery on the defendant.
If the defendant chooses, he or she may sign the Acknowledgment of Service on the
reverse of the summons which acts as a proof of service. Exhibit G is a form letter to the
Defendant asking that he/she acknowledge service.
     In the alternative, plaintiff may send a copy of the summons and complaint by regis-
tered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and delivery restricted to the addressee.
Service by mail is made when the defendant acknowledges receipt of the mail, in which
case a copy of the return receipt is attached and the proof of service filed.
     Service may also be effectuated if the defendant has already retained an attorney who
agrees to accept service on behalf of his/her client and acknowledge such acceptance in
writing on the reverse of the summons.
    Alternate modes of service are available as prescribed by the court under MCR
2.107(E) when service cannot otherwise be reasonably made because there is no attorney

The Institute of Continuing Legal Education    3-12
                                   Starting the Divorce Action

of record or the defendant cannot be found, or for other good cause in an ex parte applica-
tion.
C.   Who May Serve
     As in any other civil action, service is made by any legally competent adult who is not
a party. MCR 2.103.
D.   Service on the Friend of the Court
     A copy of papers filed concerning minor children or concerning temporary or perma-
nent child or spousal support must be provided to the Friend of the Court. The court clerk
will typically take a copy of all pleadings filed for delivery to the Friend of the Court. This
procedure may vary by county, however. In order to ensure that the orders for support are
processed as quickly as possible, it is wise to deliver a copy to the Friend of the Court even
if the Clerk’s Office or judge’s clerk is expected to do so.
E.   Proof of Service
     Once service is obtained, a document entitled Return of Service or Proof of Service
must be filed with the clerk of court. Care must be taken in all instances to include a com-
plete listing of all documents served along with the summons and complaint.




                                              3-13       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                                      Starting the Divorce Action

                                          Exhibit A
                                  Sample Property Injunction


                               STATE OF MICHIGAN
               IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF OAKLAND
                                FAMILY DIVISION

JANE DOE,

       Plaintiff,

-vs-                                                            HON.
                                                        NO.                    DO
JOHN DOE,

        Defendant.
_______________________________/
MARJORY B. COHEN (P26415)
Attorney for Plaintiff
3060 Penobscot Building
645 Griswold
Detroit, MI 48226-1279
(313) 962-7210
_______________________________/

               EX PARTE ORDER FOR MUTUAL PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

                    At a session of said Court held in the Coleman A. Young
                    Municipal Center, City of Detroit, County of Wayne, State of
                    Michigan, on ________________________________

                    Present: Honorable _________________________________
                                               Judge, Circuit Court

         ON READING AND FILING the Complaint of the Plaintiff and Petition for ex-parte
relief, and the Court being fully advised in the premises;

       IT IS ORDERED:

       Plaintiff, JANE DOE, and Defendant, JOHN DOE, and/or his or her officers, agents,
servants, employees, attorneys, assigns, and persons in active concert or participation with him
who receive actual notice of this order by personal service or otherwise, desist and refrain from:

       1.      Surrendering, borrowing upon, using as collateral security, withdrawing the cash
surrender value of, selling, assigning, modifying, transferring, changing the beneficiary or
beneficiaries of, or otherwise altering or causing any change to be made in any policy of life
insurance, annuity, homeowners, health insurance or motor vehicle policies which either party



                                                 3-15         The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006



 owns or controls (individually or as trustee) or in which the parties have any rights or interest
 (legal or equitable) as owner, beneficiary, insured or otherwise, or allowing said policies to lapse
 for non-payment;

         2.      Surrendering, redeeming, cashing in, withdrawing, assigning, modifying,
 transferring or encumbering the interest in any pension plans, retirement, profit sharing, bonus,
 savings, 401(k), Individual Retirement Account or stock purchase program in which the parties
 have any interest or in which either party participates, or any other business entity, or changing
 the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the programs of any other benefit payable by reason of their
 employment in the event of death, disability, retirement or termination. This shall include any
 action by either party which results in a decreased ability to pay, or increases a need for support
 or family expenses;

         3.      Regarding personal assets: Concealing, secreting, selling, cashing in, destroying,
 encumbering, assigning, transferring (including transfers to themselves or to any other person as
 trustee, guardian or nominee), conveying, destroying, mortgaging or otherwise disposing of or
 encumbering any of either party's assets ( real or personal, tangible or intangible) or any interest
 therein (legal or equitable), including but not limited to: stocks, bonds, partnership and business
 ventures, or other securities, cash, savings accounts, checking accounts, vehicles, valuables
 contained in safe deposit boxes or any other assets or business interests, household furniture, or
 furnishings, without the prior order of the court, provided, however, that the parties may
 withdraw funds from their account(s) for necessities and otherwise only in the ordinary course of
 business and/or for attorney fees;

         4.      Regarding business assets: Concealing, secreting, selling, cashing in, destroying,
 encumbering, assigning, transferring (including transfers to themselves or to any other person as
 trustee, guardian or nominee), conveying, destroying, mortgaging or otherwise disposing of or
 encumbering any of either party's business assets ( real or personal, tangible or intangible) or any
 interest therein (legal or equitable), including but not limited to: corporate stocks, bonds,
 partnership and business ventures, or other securities, cash, savings accounts, checking accounts,
 vehicles, business equipment, business vehicles or any other business interests except in the
 ordinary course of business without the prior order of this court;

         5.      Removing or causing the removal of all or any part of any of the household
 furniture, furnishings, or equipment from the marital home of the parties located at insert
 address; and/or from any other residence, property or location anywhere in the world, in which
 either party has any interest or which is under their control;

         6.       Incurring any extraordinary debt and/or causing joint credit cards and other forms
 of credit to create any debt which will significantly reduce the net value of the marital estate,
 create a liability against the Plaintiff or Defendant, or harm either party’s credit, or obligate or
 encumber any of the marital property.

         7.     The Plaintiff and Defendant shall not directly or indirectly conceal from each
 other or destroy any family records, business records, or any records of income, debt, or other
 obligations;




The Institute of Continuing Legal Education      3-16
                                     Starting the Divorce Action



       8.       The Plaintiff and Defendant shall not directly or indirectly change their estate
plans or wills during the pendency of this action;

        9.      Excluded from this injunction are those transfers required for the necessities of
life and those needed in the normal transaction of business;

         10.    This injunction may be lifted for any individual purpose upon the mutual
agreement of the parties. Such agreement shall be in writing and signed by both parties and
their attorneys.

        This Order does not prevent either party from providing for the necessities of life for
Plaintiff or Defendant out of current income. However, both Plaintiff and Defendant shall
notify the other before taking any extraordinary actions.

       No bond is required because the parties are husband and wife.

                                             NOTICE

               1.      You may file a written objection to the order or a motion to modify or
                       rescind the order. This order will automatically become a temporary
                       order if you do not file a written objection or motion to modify or rescind
                       the ex parte order and a request for a hearing.

               2.      The written objection or motion must be filed with the clerk of the court,
                       and a true copy of the objection or motion must be provided to the Friend
                       of the Court and the party who obtained the order and all other parties
                       within 14 days after you were served with the order.
               3.      If there is a timely objection or a motion and request for a hearing, the
                       hearing must be held within 21 days after the objection or motion and
                       request are filed.

               4.      This Ex Parte Order for Mutual Preliminary Injunction will remain in
                       effect and must be obeyed unless changed by a later order of the court.
                       Any change that occurs after the hearing on the objection or motion may
                       be made retroactive to the date that this order was entered.

                                              _________________________________
                                              Judge, Circuit Court




                                                3-17       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                                  Starting the Divorce Action

                                     Exhibit B
      Allegations in Complaint in Support of Request for Financial Status Quo
                                      Order


3.      By agreement of the parties, Plaintiff is unemployed outside of the home, and has
primary responsibility for maintaining the household and caring for the minor children of the
parties. She is without any income. Defendant earns substantial sums of money, as reflected in
the Verified Statement, and deposits his entire paycheck into a joint account, from which
Plaintiff pays marital bills and expenses, and from which she provides Defendant with $75.00
each week for his routine cash expenses.




                                             3-19       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                                      Starting the Divorce Action

                                        Exhibit C
                             Sample Financial Status Quo Order


                                STATE OF MICHIGAN
                IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF OAKLAND
                                 FAMILY DIVISION

JANE DOE,

        Plaintiff,

-vs-                                                     HON.
                                                         NO.                      DO
JOHN DOE,

        Defendant.
_______________________________/
MARJORY B. COHEN (P26415)
Attorney for Plaintiff
3060 Penobscot Building
645 Griswold
Detroit, MI 48226-1279
(313) 962-7210
_______________________________/

                       EX PARTE STATUS QUO ORDER REGARDING
                           PAYMENT OF MARITAL EXPENSES

                        At a session of said Court held in the Coleman A.
                        Young Municipal Center, City of Detroit, County
                        of Wayne, State of Michigan, on
                        _____________________________________

                        Present: Honorable _____________________
                                           Judge, Circuit Court

         Upon the reading and filing of the Complaint for Divorce, and it appearing to this Court
that it is in the best interests of the parties to maintain the financial status quo as it existed at the
time of the filing of this action, and the court being fully advised in the premises;

        IT IS ORDERED:

        The parties shall maintain the financial status quo as it existed at the time of the filing of
this action. Specifically, Defendant shall continue to deposit his paychecks into the joint bank




                                                  3-21        The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006



 account of the parties. Plaintiff shall pay the customary and necessary expenses of the parties
 and the minor children of the parties from the parties’ joint bank account. Plaintiff shall provide
 Defendant with $75 each week for miscellaneous personal expenses.


                                     NOTICE TO DEFENDANT

         1.      You may file a written objection to the order or a motion to modify or rescind the
                 order. This order will automatically become a temporary order if you do not file
                 a written objection or motion to modify or rescind the ex parte order and a request
                 for a hearing.

                 2.      The written objection or motion must be filed with the clerk of the court,
                         and a true copy of the objection or motion must be provided to the Friend
                         of the Court and the party who obtained the order and all other parties
                         within 14 days after you were served with the order.
                 3.      If there is a timely objection or a motion and request for a hearing, the
                         hearing must be held within 21 days after the objection or motion and
                         request are filed.

                 4.      This Ex Parte Order will remain in effect and must be obeyed unless
                         changed by a later order of the court. Any change that occurs after the
                         hearing on the objection or motion may be made retroactive to the date
                         that this order was entered.

                                               _________________________________
                                               Judge, Circuit Court




The Institute of Continuing Legal Education     3-22
                                   Starting the Divorce Action

                                       Exhibit D
                              Sample Complaint for Divorce


                               STATE OF MICHIGAN
               IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF OAKLAND
                                FAMILY DIVISION

JANE DOE,

       Plaintiff,
-vs-                                                        HON.
                                                                                    DM
JOHN DOE,

        Defendant.
_____________________________/
MARJORY B. COHEN (P26415)
Attorney for Plaintiff
3060 Penobscot Building
645 Griswold
Detroit, MI 48226-1279
(313) 962-7210
_____________________________/

               There is no other pending or resolved action within the jurisdiction of the
               family division of the circuit court involving the family or family members
               of the persons who are the subject of the complaint or petition.
               ________________________________________________
               Marjory B. Cohen, Attorney for Plaintiff

                               COMPLAINT FOR DIVORCE

       Plaintiff states:

1.     The parties have resided in the state of Michigan for more than 180 days and in Macomb
       County for more than 10 days immediately preceding the filing of this Complaint.

2.     The parties were married on June 8, 1985 in Southfield, Michigan.

3.     The Plaintiff's complete name before the marriage was JANE SMITH and currently is
       JANE DOE and the Defendant's complete name before the marriage was and currently is
       JOHN DOE.

4.     The parties separated on or about June 24, 2006.

5.     The parties' minor child is JAMES DOE, born SEPTEMBER 16, 1993.




                                              3-23        The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006



  6.     Pursuant to Section 659 of Act 297 of the Public Acts of 1975, Plaintiff states:

         (a)     The minor child of the parties resides at 10 Elm Street, Southfield, MI 48075
                 with both parties.

         (b)     During the last five (5) years, the minor child of the parties resided at at 10 Elm
                 Street, Southfield, MI 48075 with both parties, and at 5549 Main Street,
                 Evergreen, OH 66633 with both parties.

         (c)     I have not participated in any capacity in any other litigation concerning the
                 custody of the minor child in this or any other state.

         (d)     I have no information of a custody proceeding concerning the minor child
                 pending in a court of this state or another state.

         (e)     I do not know of any person, not a party to these proceedings, who has physical
                 custody of the minor child of the parties or claims custody or parenting time rights
                 with the child.

  7.     It is in the best interests of the minor child of the parties that the parties be awarded
         temporary and permanent joint legal custody of the minor child and that Plaintiff be
         awarded temporary and permanent physical custody of him, and that Defendant be
         awarded reasonable and liberal parenting time with the minor child until he attains the
         age of majority, or until further Order of this Court.

  8.     There has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of
         matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the
         marriage can be preserved.

  9.     There is property, both real and personal, to be divided between the parties.

  10.    Plaintiff needs spousal support for suitable support and maintenance because of limited
         income and earning ability, and Defendant is able to provide such support because of his
         greater earnings and earning capacity.

  11.    Plaintiff is unable to bear the expense of this action, and Defendant is able to pay them.

  12.    The Defendant has threatened to transfer assets to his name only, and has never fully
         disclosed his financial circumstances to the Plaintiff, but has been secretive and vague
         about his income and interest in various items or real and personal property.

  13.    Based upon the facts set forth in paragraph 12, and the fact that Plaintiff has decided to
         institute divorce proceedings, Plaintiff is apprehensive that immediate and irreparable
         injury, loss, or damage will result to the Plaintiff from the delay required to effect notice
         or from the risk that notice will itself precipitate adverse action before a restraining order
         can be issued in that Defendant may: Transfer, sell, encumber, conceal and somehow




The Institute of Continuing Legal Education       3-24
                              Starting the Divorce Action


dispose of the assets and property of the parties so as to place such assets and property
beyond the reach of this Court; he may change the beneficiaries of his life insurance or
alter or change his retirement and/or profit sharing plan beneficiaries or withdraw funds
from said accounts.

Plaintiff requests the court to order that:

1.      That the marriage between Plaintiff and Defendant be dissolved as authorized by
        statute;

2.      That Ex Parte or after a hearing and continuing during the pendency of this action:

        a.      Plaintiff and Defendant awarded temporary joint legal custody and that
                Plaintiff be awarded temporary physical custody of the minor child of the
                parties and that Defendant be awarded temporary reasonable and liberal
                parenting time rights with the minor child of the parties until the child
                attains the age of majority or until further Order of this Court;

        b.      The child support be ordered pursuant to the Child Support Formula for
                the child until he attains the age of 18 or graduates from high school,
                whichever is later, but not beyond the age of 19 years and six (6) months,
                as provided by P.A. 237-245 of 1990, or until further Order of this Court;

        c.      That maintenance of maintain health care insurance for the minor child
                and division of uninsured health care expenses be established pursuant to
                the Child Support Formula until he attains the age of 18 or graduates from
                high school, whichever is later, but not beyond the age of 19 years and six
                (6) months, as provided by P.A. 237-245 of 1990, or until further Order of
                this Court;

        e.      That a preliminary injunction be issued restraining both parties from
                transferring, selling, encumbering, concealing or in any manner disposing
                of any and any and all marital assets, including but not limited to all bank
                accounts, money market certificates, employment related benefits, pension
                accounts, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, or from removing the
                Plaintiff or minor child as beneficiaries from any life insurance policy,
                health insurance policy, or retirement or pension accounts, or from
                incurring extraordinary debt;

        f.      That Defendant be ordered to pay temporary attorney fees to enable
                Plaintiff to pursue this action.

3.      That upon the final hearing the court grant the Plaintiff the following relief:
        a.     That the marriage between Plaintiff and Defendant be dissolved as
               authorized by statute and a divorce from the bonds of matrimony be
               granted according to the statute of this State;




                                         3-25       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006



                 b.      That an order be entered fairly and equitably dividing the marital property
                         and marital debt between the parties;

                 c.      That Plaintiff and Defendant be awarded permanent joint legal custody
                         and that Plaintiff be awarded permanent physical custody of the minor
                         child of the parties and that Defendant be awarded permanent parenting
                         time rights with him until the minor child attains the age of majority or
                         until further Order of the Court;

                 d.      That the Defendant be ordered to pay permanent child support pursuant to
                         the Child Support Formula until the child attains the age of 18 or
                         graduates from high school, whichever is later, but not beyond the age of
                         19 years and six (6) months, as provided by P.A. 237-245 of 1990, or until
                         further Order of this Court;

                 e.      That maintenance of health care insurance for the minor child and
                         division of uninsured health care expenses be established pursuant to the
                         Child Support Formula until the child attains the age of 18 or graduates
                         from high school, whichever is later, but not beyond the age of 19 years
                         and six (6) months, as provided by P.A. 237-245 of 1990, or until further
                         Order of this Court;

                 f.      That Plaintiff be awarded permanent spousal support;

                 g.      That Defendant be required to pay Plaintiff's attorney fees incurred to
                         pursue this action; and

                 h.      That Plaintiff's former name of NANCY SMITH be restored to her.

         4.      That any other relief deemed to be just and equitable be granted.

                                                        ______________________________
                                                        JANE DOE




The Institute of Continuing Legal Education      3-26
                                    Starting the Divorce Action



STATE OF MICHIGAN )
                )SS
COUNTY OF WAYNE )

        On this ____ day of August, 2006, before me personally appeared the above-named
JANE DOE who made oath that she has read the foregoing by her subscribed, that she knows the
contents thereof, and that the same is true of her own knowledge, except as to those matter
therein stated to be upon information and belief, and as to those matters she believes them to be
true.

                                                      ______________________________
                                                      Notary Public

______________________________
MARJORY B. COHEN (P26415)
Attorney for Plaintiff
3060 Penobscot Building
645 Griswold
Detroit, MI 48226-1279
(313) 962-7210




                                               3-27       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                       Starting the Divorce Action

                               Exhibit E
Certificate on Behalf of Plaintiff Regarding Ex Parte Interim Support
                                 Order




                                  3-29       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                 Fundamentals of Divorce Practice and Procedure, September 19, 2006




The Institute of Continuing Legal Education    3-30
                                         Starting the Divorce Action

                                           Exhibit F
                                 Complaint and Filing Checklists


                          GENERAL CHECKLIST FOR COMPLAINT

1.   Case classification code
2.   Prior action declaration
3.   Allegations both required and suggested
     •   Identify parties
     •   State place and date of marriage
     •   Identify current and former names of parties
     •   Allege jurisdiction and venue
     •   Identify children, if any, with names, ages and dates of birth
     •   State whether wife is expecting
     •   Allege best interest of children regarding custody
     •   State allegations in support of Affidavit under UCCJEA
     •   Allege breakdown of marriage
     •   State whether there is real and personal property to be divided and whether any separate property exists
     •   State allegations in support of spousal support or attorney fees, both temporary and for final resolution
     •   State allegations pertaining to any ex parte relief requested
4.   Prayer for relief, both for pendency and final judgment
5.   Attestation clause
6.   Signatures of party and attorney with date

                                GENERAL CHECKLIST FOR FILING

1.   Summons
2.   Signed Complaint with copies
3.   Verified Statement, if minor children
4.   Affidavits, if any
5.   Certificate on Behalf of Plaintiff Regarding Ex Parte Interim Support Order, if Wayne County
6.   Record of Divorce or Annulment, some counties
7.   Check for filing fee
8.   Proposed Ex Parte Orders with copies




                                                     3-31          The Institute of Continuing Legal Education
                                   Starting the Divorce Action

                                     Exhibit G
               Letter to the Defendant re: Acknowledgment of Service


                                        August 9, 2006



Mr. Robert Jones
585 Grand St.
Ferndale, MI 48220

       Re:    Jones v Jones

Dear Mr. Jones:

        As you may know, I have been retained by your wife, Rebecca Jones, to handle a divorce
action on her behalf. Enclosed please find Summons, Complaint for Divorce and computer
labels.

        If you are willing to acknowledge service of these documents to avoid the necessity of
having them delivered to you by a process server, please sign the copy of the enclosed Summons
marked “Return” in red on the bottom where indicated, and fill in the space on the form
indicating the day, date and time that you sign it. You should then mail the Summons back to
me in the enclosed, self-addressed, stamped envelope.

        I look forward to working with you and/or your attorney towards an amicable and fair
resolution of this matter.

                                            Sincerely yours,



                                            Marjory B. Cohen

MBC
Encls.
cc:    Rebecca Jones




                                              3-33       The Institute of Continuing Legal Education

				
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