How Do I File for Divorce in Michigan?

Divorce is an emotionally exhausting and traumatic experience. It is one of the most difficult situations anyone can imagine. When a situation is complicated, it can be highly unpleasant. The difficulty usually arises when you and your spouse do not agree on all of your divorce-related concerns.

To file for divorce using all legal means, you will need the assistance of a professional company. The company oversees and manages the entire procedure to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are in a situation or want to get a divorce, you can always seek advice from an experienced company like Instant Online Divorce .

What do I need to file for a divorce in Michigan?

The following are the essential guidelines that you must know and follow before filing a divorce in Michigan:

You or your spouse must be a Michigan resident. 

You and your spouse must both be Michigan residents. The most basic criterion is that you must have lived in Michigan for six months before filing for divorce. The divorce must be filed in the circuit court where one of you has resided for the past ten days. It is usual for people to file in the county where they reside, but this is not required. You can file where your spouse lives.


You don’t have to “prove” anything to get a divorce in Michigan. 

Getting a divorce The state of Michigan has a “no-fault” policy. To get a divorce, you don’t have to prove anything, such as adultery, cruelty, or anything else. Aside from that, your spouse does not have to consent to your divorce. If you made a mistake that led your marriage to collapse, you might be eligible for divorce. Furthermore, there is no requirement for legal separation to petition for divorce.


In order to file for divorce in Michigan, at least one of the spouses must testify 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.” This declaration emphasizes that significant and irreversible harm has happened and that there is no chance that this marriage will work out. 



What other available options Do I have? 

Separate maintenance 

This is referred to as “legal Separation.” It’s comparable to divorce, but at the end of the process, you’re still married. Custody, parenting time, and child support will all be decided as part of the case. Furthermore, marital property and debts will be shared, and spousal support may be granted. If you file a separate maintenance case and your husband files a counterclaim for divorce, the judge will treat the case as if it were a divorce.

You can file a separate maintenance lawsuit if you desire to stay married for religious or other reasons.

Marriage Annulment 

An annulment is a court decision that a marriage did not take place. If you fall into one of the following legal situations, you may be able to get your marriage annulled

  • Bigamy 
  • Mental incompetence 
  • Age 
  • Relationship of the parties 
  • Force or fraud by your spouse to get your agreement to marry 


What other issues do I need to consider? 

Divorce ends your marriage. Other possible issues are essential and must address at the same time. The following are some of the problems that you will encounter when dealing with divorce


Property and debt division in Michigan

The property or debt you acquire when you marry is known as marital property or debt. Real estate, pensions, insurance, retirement accounts, and investment accounts are all included. If you and your spouse cannot agree on dividing debt and property, the judge will make the decision. According to Michigan law, it must be split fairly, which implies equality.

If the judge has to divide it or both the parties, he will consider the following factors before splitting: 

  • The total duration of your marriage 
  • Your contribution to the marital estate 
  • Age 
  • Health 
  • Your standard of living during the marriage 
  • Your current needs and living situation 
  • Your ability to earn money now
  • Your fault during the marriage 

Separate property that a spouse owns either before marriage or receives in inheritance is usually kept by the owner and keeps away from mutual assets. 

Separate property that a spouse possesses before marriage or receives as an inheritance is normally kept separate from mutual assets.

Child support in Michigan

This particular aspect is calculated using the Michigan child support formula. It includes many factors such as 

  • Income of both the parents 
  • Number of overnights the child spend with each parent
  • Medical and child care expense

Child support ends when a child turns 18 and remains till 19 ½ if the child is in high school full time and likely to graduate. 

Friends of the court (FOC) 

The friend of the court (FOC) helps the judge in determining custody, parenting time, and child support. FOC can assist you in reaching an agreement on custody and parenting time. If your spouse refuses, FOC will make a recommendation to the judge. You have the right to object to the recommendation before it becomes a court order.

Child custody in Michigan

Legal custody and physical custody are the two categories of child custody. Legal custody entails making critical decisions for the child, such as school, religion, and medical treatment. Physical custody refers to whom the child lives with.

Both of the custody can be sole or joint. This means in sole custody one parent will have that type. In joint custody, the parent will share the same type of custody.

  • If both parents share legal custody of their kids, they each have the authority to make decisions for their children. If both parents cannot agree on a choice at some time, the judge will award exclusive custody to one of them.
  • If both parents have physical custody of their children. At different times, the child will reside with both parents.
  • If one parent has sole physical custody, the other will be permitted to see their child.

The custody decision is made in “the best interest of the child”.

What forms are required for divorce in Michigan ?

The divorce procedure begins with the filing of a summons, complaint, and other necessary documents with the court. To file a case, go to the Michigan courts’ website, which has a Self-help section where you can produce divorce forms specific to your situation.

Serving your complaint 

After you’ve filed your form, someone other than you must deliver the divorce papers to your spouse. After the court has granted authorization, you can also mail the document with a return receipt desired.

Waiting period in Michigan divorce

If you and your spouse do not have a child together, you must wait two months before filing for divorce.

There is a six-month waiting period if you have children together before filing for divorce.

Only if you and your spouse cannot agree on anything (property, alimony, or custody) will it take longer.

Finalizing the divorce in Michigan

If you opt for a Do-It-Yourself divorce, you will be provided with the necessary forms to guide you through the entire process

  • Default Judgment- if the spouse does not file an answer or participate 
  • Negotiated Judgment- mutually decided terms for divorce 
  • Mediated Judgment- keep a mediator and determine the terms 
  • Trial judgment- a decision made by a judge because you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement.