Filing for divorce in Michigan requires filing a Complaint for Divorce with the county circuit court in the county where at least one spouse lives. Either spouse has to live in the county for at least 10 days prior to filing for divorce.

Are There Any Other Residency Requirements?

Yes. State law requires either spouse to live in Michigan for at least six months before filing for divorce.

When Does the Divorce Process Start?

The divorce process starts as soon as the petition is filed and filing fee is paid at the circuit court. The clerk will stamp and file the petition. Once the petition is filed, the non-filing spouse is served with it.

Michigan has a 60-day waiting period after the divorce is filed. If there are minor children involved, the waiting period is 6 months. It may take longer if both spouses do not agree on all of the terms.

What Are My Options If I Am Served with Divorce Papers?

The spouse served with divorce papers has 21 days to file an answer with the circuit court. If no answer is filed, the spouse has defaulted, and a default judgment will be awarded. Generally, the spouse who defaults has no say in the spousal support, child custody and support, and property settlement terms.

What Should I Expect After the Waiting Period Is Complete?

Divorcing spouses have the option of trial or settlement. In a divorce trial, a judge decides issues such as child support and property of division because spouses cannot agree. A settlement agreement is used to finalize the divorce.

Do I Need an Attorney When Filing for Divorce in Michigan?

Hiring a Michigan divorce attorney is highly recommended. An attorney will help you understanding your rights and will represent you as you go through the divorce process. With the assistance of a divorce attorney, you will have the best chance to obtain the assets that you are due and to effectively resolve disputes concerning child custody, alimony, and other important issues.