How to File for Divorce in Michigan?

You may be wondering "How to file for divorce in Michigan"? Before filing for divorce in Michigan, there are important steps and considerations. The filing spouse must live in the state for at least 180 days to meet residency requirements. Either spouse can file in their county of residence. After meeting residency requirements, the filing spouse must complete a divorce petition with accurate information about the marriage and division of assets. A summons will be included to notify the other spouse and allow them to respond.

Both spouses must complete a financial disclosure report, detailing their assets, liabilities, and income. This information is used by the judge to decide on support and asset division. A hearing is scheduled after filing, where both parties present evidence and make their cases.

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, so proving fault is not necessary. Filing for divorce in Michigan can be complex, so it is recommended to seek legal assistance. Clarity Family Law is here to help with filing a divorce in Wayne County. Our Dearborn divorce attorneys offer a free consultation, call us at (313) 513-1919 to schedule yours.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Michigan?

The grounds for divorce in Michigan indicate that the marriage has suffered a breakdown to the extent that the marriage relationship is no longer salvageable. The only accepted grounds for divorce are “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage,” essentially meaning that it is no longer possible to preserve the marriage relationship.

All parties involved can agree or disagree without reason, but it ultimately falls on the judge to make a judgment call based on the evidence presented in court.

a woman filling out a Michigan decree for divorce

If there is sufficient proof that “the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved,” then the judge will grant a divorce. This shows that a few Michigan laws lay out an acceptable frame of reference when it comes to considering a legal separation in terms of irretrievable breakdowns.

Keeping these guidelines in mind when seeking a legal separation ensures that all parties understand what qualifies as grounds for separation under Michigan law.

Residency Requirements for a Michigan Divorce

One of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for at least 180 days before filing a divorce complaint. If both spouses are residents of Michigan, either spouse has the right to initiate the divorce process.

However, if only one spouse is a resident of Michigan, then that person must be the one to file. In addition, the person filing for divorce must have lived in the county where the divorce is filed for at least 10 days before filing.

What Type of Divorce is Right for You?

When filing for divorce in Michigan, it's important to know the right type for you. There are two options: fault-based and no-fault divorce. Fault-based divorce assigns blame to one party for the marriage breakdown.

To file for fault-based divorce in Michigan, one spouse must allege a specific cause from the state's list. No-fault divorce, on the other hand, doesn't assign blame. Both spouses must agree on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and have no chance of reconciliation.

Learn More: Differences of an Uncontested and Contested Divorce

It's crucial to consult a family law attorney to protect your rights, regardless of the type you choose.

Uncontested Divorce

There are two types of divorce in Michigan: contested and uncontested. Uncontested divorces occur when both parties agree on all aspects of the separation, such as joint custody arrangements, parenting time, alimony payments, division of marital property, and debts.

In an amicable divorce case, a proposed separation agreement is developed and reviewed, and signed off by a judge. This type is usually faster and more affordable, though it is still encouraged you work with an uncontested divorce lawyer.

Contested Divorce

On the other hand, contested divorces happen when spouses cannot agree on terms, including division of property and child custody. These conflict divorce cases require more work, as the couple must present evidence to a judge in a divorce hearing who will make decisions.

How to File for Divorce in Michigan infographic

Additional documents may need to be filed during the divorce procedures, and there is a filing fee of $175 in 2023, with additional fees for child support or custody cases.

What Forms Do You Need to Prepare for a Divorce?

If you are seeking a divorce in the state of Michigan, it is important to know which forms you need to prepare and file with the court. To begin the divorce process in Michigan, you must first download and fill out the following online divorce forms:

  1. Complaint for Divorce: This form initiates the divorce proceedings and sets forth certain facts related to your marriage, such as the date of marriage, residency requirements, and reasons why the divorce is being sought.
  2. Summons: This form notifies your spouse that a Complaint for Divorce has been filed against them.
  3. Financial Affidavit: This form requires both parties to provide information about their financial situation so the court can determine alimony or child support payments if necessary.

To start the divorce process, complete the Complaint for Divorce, Summons, and Financial Affidavit. Then, file these documents in the county where either party lives. Only one spouse needs to file, but both must sign. The filing fee in Michigan is $175, with potential additional fees for child support or custody matters. After filing, serve your spouse with the Summons and Complaint.

How to File Divorce Forms With the Court

In Michigan, filing for divorce is a multi-step process that begins with filing your documents with the court. Before beginning the process, it’s important to familiarize yourself with any state laws or requirements to ensure that you file and proceed correctly.

a person sitting at a desk with their wedding rings next to a gavel

To file for divorce in Michigan, complete the required paperwork. This includes a Petition for Divorce, Summons, Complaint for Divorce, and Financial Affidavit. File the documents with the court in the county where one spouse lives. The filing fee is $175, with possible additional fees for child support or custody. Serve your spouse with a copy of the Summons and Complaint after filing.

How to Serve Your Spouse Divorce Papers

Serving your spouse with divorce papers is an important step in the Michigan divorce process. By doing so, you are officially notifying your spouse that you have filed for divorce. This is also known as “service of process” in legal terms.

In Michigan, the law requires that you provide your spouse with a copy of the summons and complaint for divorce. The summons tells the defendant (your spouse) that a complaint has been filed against them and provides instructions on how to respond. The complaint outlines the facts of your marriage and why you are seeking a divorce.

You can serve your spouse with the divorce papers in one of three ways:

  1. By hiring a sheriff or constable to deliver them;
  2. By asking a friend or family member to deliver them, or
  3. By mailing them to your spouse via certified mail with the return receipt requested.

If your spouse fails to respond to the summons and complaint, you can proceed with a default divorce. This means that the court will grant the divorce based on the facts provided in the complaint without requiring further input from your spouse.

Call Today Clarity Family Law to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you’re considering filing for divorce in Michigan, it’s important to choose an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through the process. Call Today Clarity Family Law at (313) 513-1919 to schedule a free consultation and get the help you need. At Clarity Family Law, our attorneys have decades of experience representing clients in family law matters, including divorce.

a form to file for divorce, pen, and wedding rings on a table

During your free consultation with one of our experienced Dearborn family attorneys, we can review your case and provide legal advice on how to proceed. We understand that going through a divorce can be a difficult time for you and your family, which is why we are committed to providing personalized, compassionate service tailored to meet your needs.

Please contact Clarity Family Law today for a consultation regarding the process of filing for divorce in Michigan.

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