How do I File a Motion to Change the Venue for a Divorce in Michigan?

by Rebecca Hayley
Change of residence can be grounds for a change of venue.

Change of residence can be grounds for a change of venue.

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Michigan handles the venue of domestic relations cases differently from other civil actions. When filing for divorce in Michigan, a party may select any circuit court within the commonwealth in which to file the proceeding. However, the preferred venue is the circuit court for the county where either spouse currently resides. The only residency requirement to file a divorce proceeding is to live in the Commonwealth of Michigan for no less than six months prior to the date of filing. Venue may be changed when one party is seeking a modification to a divorce decree.

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Step 1

Review Michigan Court Rule 3.212 for circumstances when the court will transfer a post-judgment divorce case to another county in Michigan. Both parties' change of residence to a non-contiguous county since the entry of the original divorce decree is reason to request a change of venue.

Step 2

Complete a Motion/Stipulation for Transferring Case (Postjudgment), form FOC 24. You can download the form from the Michigan State Courts website. If the other party agrees to the change of venue, mark the form's boxes for a stipulation. The other party will need to sign the form as well before you file. If the other party does not agree to the change or is unaware of your desire to transfer the case, check the boxes for a motion. The other party will not need to sign the motion, but you will.

Step 3

Call the clerk of the circuit court for the Michigan county that currently has venue and request a hearing date, if the other party has not agreed and stipulated to the transfer. Complete the notice of hearing portion of form FOC 24 with the date, time, location and name of the judge or hearing officer assigned to hear the motion.

Step 4

Mail a copy of the motion and notice of hearing, form FOC 24, to the other party and the party’s attorney. You must mail the motion and notice at least nine days before the hearing date. Complete the certificate of mailing portion of form FOC 24, reflecting the date you mailed the copy to the other party.

Step 5

File the original copy of form FOC 24 with the clerk of the circuit court for the Michigan county that currently has venue at least seven days before the hearing date. There will be a small fee to file a motion for transfer. Keep two copies of the form, one for you and one to file with the Friend of the Court for the county that currently has venue of the case.