10 years: Divorce Statute of Limitations

10 years. That’s how long Michigan courts allow ex-spouses to execute the terms of a Judgment of Divorce.

divorce statute of limitationsThe Divorce Statute of Limitations applies to:

  • Completing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order for division of future pension or retirement funds
  • Signing over a Quit Claim Deed
  • Enforcing an order to refinance or sell the home and split the proceeds
  • Specific other terms negotiated in the division of assets

“This is a crucial topic,” says Washtenaw County Divorce Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler. “There is a limited time to execute the terms of the divorce. Once the 10 years are up, unless you and your ex are on good terms and willing to fulfill the terms voluntarily, you could be out of luck.”

There are three primary reasons for people allowing the divorce statute of limitations to run out.

“I get why, after all the expense and stress and sadness of a divorce people would want to take a break, but don’t let it drag out past the 10 years or you might not get all the funds you are entitled to,” Wayne-Spindler said.

  • Ignorance or Forgetfulness

Getting divorced can be an overwhelming and paperwork-intensive process. An experienced, compassionate attorney knows that and should take his/her time explaining the deadlines and providing resources to make completing the entire process convenient. Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates give clients clear instructions for any post-divorce actions. Wayne-Spindler strongly recommends Divorce Solutions LLC in Southfield for completing a DRO and realtor Norm Werner for any real estate needs. She provides contacts with many other trusted local resources for financial, health and insurance needs.

Unfortunately not all attorneys are as comprehensive. Other lawyers may give only the information necessary to close the case and expect clients to read the fine print themselves. Kathryn occasionally gets calls from other attorneys’ clients who are trying to recover the funds owed to them from a prior divorce. These unfortunate clients relate how with all the paperwork and other responsibilities of newly-single life, they decided to hold off on creating a QRDO only to have the statute of limitations expire and leave them with few options.

  • Time Flies

Some people who divorce at a relatively young age think they have decades before they have to consider retirement funding. The next thing they know, 10 years have flown by and the opportunity may have passed.

Besides retirement and real estate issues, Wayne-Spindler also counsels clients to handle insurance, credit management and name change. Although these items are not legally bound by a divorce statute of limitations, they can be easier to conclude while working on other divorce related matters.

For comprehensive divorce support, contact the Milford, Michigan law office of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000. Besides divorce, the law office also handles custody, adoption, estate planning, family law and probate throughout Southeastern Michigan – including Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Genesee and Livingston Counties. The experienced attorneys help clients in Milford; Highland; Hartland; White Lake; Walled Lake; Commerce Township; Waterford; West Bloomfield; Wixom; Howell; South Lyon; New Hudson; Linden; Holly; Grand Blanc and many more local communities.

Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long
Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates