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Updated January 2021
Currently, only eight counties in Michigan (Antrim, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa, Washtenaw, and Wayne) offer e-filing. Of those eight counties, only Oakland and Washtenaw allow a new divorce case to be e-filed. In Oakland County, e-filing is required thoughout the divorce process while in Washtenaw County, e-filing remains optional. In the other six counties with e-filing access (Antrim, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Macomb, Ottawa, and Wayne), a party in a divorce case may e-file, but only subsequent documents after the case is opened by traditional paper filing. In Macomb County and Ottawa County, once a divorce case is filed by mail or in-person filing, all subsequently filed documents must be e-filed. In Antrim, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Wayne counties, e-filing of subsequent documents is optional.
In the remaining Michigan counties, e-filing is not yet available in divorce cases, leaving the state behind the curve nationally when it comes to access to e-filing in the courts. Compare Michigan to neighboring Indiana, where e-filing in divorce cases has been an option statewide--start to finish--for several years. Likewise, in nearby Illinois, all counties require all divorce paperwork to be e-filed, even when the parties are representing themselves.
E-Filing Exemption: If you live in a mandatory e-filing county (Macomb, Oakland or Ottawa) and are unable to upload and e-file your divorce papers, you must file a Request for Exemption from Use of MIFile and Order (MC 100) with the divorce complaint. If the judge grants the request, the clerk’s office will file your documents and assign a case number. If the judge denies your request, the court clerk will let you know that you have to e-file.
According to Michigan’s rollout strategy, the long-term objective is for all eligible case types to be e-filed. In 2018, implementation in “waves” began and is expected to take place over the course of several years. However, if you compare the eight courts that have actually been implemented with the implementation schedule map provided by the Michigan Courts, you’ll see that most waves have not been fully implemented before the next wave of implementation begins. For example, Ottawa is the only county of the three Wave 2 counties to be implemented. Of the four counties in Wave 4, only Macomb and Oakland have been implemented. None of the nine counties in Wave 5 have been implemented at all. Of the 12 Wave 6 counties only Washtenaw has been implemented. No counties have been implemented in Waves 7 and 8, but three Wave 9 counties (Antrim, Grand Traverse and Leelanau) have been.
To e-file you first need to sign up for a MiFile e-filing account. MiFile is powered by TrueFiling. On the TrueFiling sign up page you will enter basic contact information and choose a password. You will then get an e-mail from TrueFiling with directions for confirming your new account, which includes accepting the End User License Agreement.
Once you’ve confirmed your e-filing account, login log in to your MiFile account and begin uploading documents. DivorceWriter provides step-by-step instructions for e-filing divorce papers, for both initiating a divorce case and the filing of subsequent documents. If you encounter technical difficulties while e-filing, contact the MiFILE tech support team at email@example.com or (855) 959-8868. Tell them which county circuit court you're filing in, your case number, if you have one, and a description of your question or issue. Technical support is available from MiFile Monday thru Friday, 9am – 6pm ET.