The divorce process is stressful and is filled with emotion. Certain cases also have the potential to become complex, particularly if you and your spouse do not agree to all the issues associated with divorce. A Michigan divorce lawyer can help you through the process, so you obtain the fair settlement you deserve.
How to Start the Divorce Process
In Michigan, all divorces are considered “no-fault.” This means that if you file for divorce, you do not have to prove your spouse did anything wrong. The only reason for divorce in the state is that the marital relationship is broken and that there is little chance you will reconcile with your spouse. Still, if you or your spouse was responsible for the divorce, such as if you had an affair, it can impact decisions about alimony or property division.
Michigan, like all states, has a residency requirement for those filing for divorce. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months and in the county for 10 days before you can file for divorce. The petition must be filed in the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse resides.
When filing for divorce, you must file a complaint and summons with the court. The complaint will outline that the marital relationship has broken down, and the summons must be served to your spouse. You can use a process server, sheriff, or other non-party that is over the age of 18 to serve the divorce papers to your spouse.
Other documents may be necessary when filing for divorce, depending on the specifics of your case. A Michigan divorce lawyer can review the facts of your case and advise on any additional paperwork you may need.
The Waiting Period
Michigan imposes a waiting period on all divorce cases. If you and your spouse do not have children together, the waiting period is only two months. Before that time, your divorce case cannot be finalized. If you and your spouse do have children together, the waiting period is extended to six months and your divorce cannot be finalized before that time. In either case, the waiting period starts when the divorce papers are filed with the court.
The Friend of the Court
If your divorce case will involve child custody issues, the court may appoint a Friend of the Court to your case. This individual may interview everyone in the family and report back to the court so a judge can make an informed decision. If you and your spouse agree, you can opt out of Friend of the Court services.
Our Divorce Lawyers in Michigan are Here to Help With Your Case
If you are considering divorce, our Michigan divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can advise you of the laws that will affect your case and help you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation and to learn more about your legal options.