Five FAQs About Divorce in Michigan

Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce in Michigan or have recently started the divorce process, you are likely to have many different questions. From concerns about initially filing a petition to questions about how Michigan courts handle shared parenting time, inquiries about divorce vary widely and often reflect the specific facts of a family's situation.

At the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins, we assist families in Michigan with many different divorce issues each day. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce, along with some quick answers to guide you in the right direction until you speak with a Michigan divorce lawyer in more detail.

Do I Need Grounds for Divorce in Michigan?

Under Michigan law, Michigan is what is known as a no-fault state. This means that no one who files for divorce needs to assert grounds showing that one of the parties is at fault. Instead, under MCL § 552.6, a person who files for divorce only needs to allege that "there has been a breakdown of 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."

Is There a Waiting Period to File for Divorce?

Michigan law allows a party to file for divorce as long as she or he has been living in the state for at least 180 days, and as long as she or he has been living in the county where the divorce petition will be filed for at least 10 days.

What Counts as Marital Property in Michigan?

Marital property includes almost any assets or debts acquired after the marriage, but prior to the date of separation. There are exceptions, however. For instance, property that was designated as separate or nonmarital property through a valid prenuptial agreement cannot be classified as marital property, as well as property that was gifted to or inherited by only one of the spouses during divorce. In addition, property that has been commingled-separate property that has been combined with marital property-also may be classified as marital property that is divisible.

How is Marital Property Divided?

In Michigan, marital property is divided according to a theory that is known as "equitable distribution." This means that courts divide marital property, which includes both assets and liabilities from the marriage, in a way that is fair to both of the spouses. It is important to recognize that "equitable" does not mean "equal."

Can I Get Alimony in My Michigan Divorce?

In order to get alimony (also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance) in your Michigan divorce, you will first need to request this support from the court. The judge then will look at a number of different factors to determine whether support is appropriate, as well as the amount. Each case is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn More from a Michigan Divorce Attorney

Do you have questions about divorce in Michigan? An experienced Michigan divorce attorney can help with your case. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information about how we can help with your case.