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Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce in Michigan

There are several differences between uncontested vs. contested divorce in Michigan. The divorce process in Michigan is simple because of its no-fault policy. There is no need to provide a specific reason for the breakdown of the marriage. Both parties can file divorce papers without notifying or seeking consent from the other.

Michigan offers contested and uncontested divorce complaints. In a contested divorce, one spouse refuses to cooperate or disagrees on matters like custody of minor children, parenting time, marital division of assets, or marital property division. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all aspects of divorce proceedings ending the marriage.

An experienced lawyer can help meet legal document requirements and protect your interests during the filing for the divorce process. Contact Clarity Family Law at (313) 513-1919 to speak to a Dearborn divorce attorney for more information.

Divorce Laws in Michigan

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state therefore you don't need to have grounds for divorce by simply stating that the marriage has "broken down irretrievably" is sufficient in Michigan. 

When both parties agree on everything in an uncontested divorce process such as the division of property and marital assets, the divorce process is straightforward. Legal counsel ensures that obligations are met and rights during the settlement agreement are protected.

Resolving all issues in contested divorces takes time and effort. A family law lawyer can guide each party on outstanding issues to meet the legal requirements. The complexity of the divorce situation and process depends on the couple's circumstances. 

What is a Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce decree arises when both parties cannot reach an agreement on the terms, such as property distribution, spousal support payments, and debt division, therefore necessitating divorce judgment court proceedings. Usually, couples attempt negotiations or resolve differences through mediation before a trial.

a man meeting with a lawyer to discuss a divorce, uncontested vs. contested divorce

However, this can become lengthy and costly if it drags on for months or years. Financial information revealed during a contested divorce becomes public. To limit expenses and maintain privacy, most couples prefer a smoother separation.

If negotiations and mediation don't work, a contested divorce may be necessary for a fair and equitable judgment of divorce resolution.

Reasons for Getting an Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce proceedings occur when both parties in the marriage relationship agree on all divorce issues. These types of divorce actions are often much faster and less expensive than a contested divorce, as it requires less court time and fewer legal fees. 

Irreconcilable Differences

The state of Michigan recognizes irreconcilable differences as a valid reason for a divorce. This allows couples to pursue an uncontested divorce rather than a contested one. An uncontested divorce is the fastest, most affordable, and least complicated way to end a marriage in Michigan. 

Mutual Agreement on Terms of Separation

In Michigan, couples who are going through a divorce can choose between an uncontested or contested divorce. An uncontested divorce happens when both parties agree on all aspects of the divorce. This type of divorce is generally faster and more cost-effective compared to a contested one.

In an uncontested divorce, the couple can submit their settlement documents to the court for approval without a trial.

No-Fault Divorces in Michigan

No-fault divorces are becoming more common in Michigan and other states. They are preferred because they are cheaper and faster than contested divorces. In a no-fault divorce, both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and cannot be reconciled.

Only one spouse needs to file a divorce petition, and the other non-filing spouse has 21 days to respond to the papers. If there are no disagreements, this type of divorce can be finalized in under 90 days.

Steps to Take Before Filing for Uncontested Divorce

Before beginning the process, it is advisable to follow certain steps if you are contemplating filing for an uncontested divorce in Michigan.

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties have reached a marital settlement agreement on the legal procedures, key issues, and terms of the divorce and do not require a court appearance. Generally, this type of divorce is quicker and takes less of an emotional toll compared to a contested divorce.

a legal book, pen, and gavel on a desk

Before filing for an uncontested divorce in Michigan, couples should make sure they have the following for legal proceedings:

  • Documents relating to any financial disclosures regarding assets or debts
  • Documents related to any pre-existing marital matter agreements
  • A list of all objects of matrimony each party wishes to receive as part of the divorce settlement
  • An agreement on how child custody and visitation will be handled
  • An agreement on how alimony and child support will be handled
  • A signed agreement that both parties have reached an agreement on all of the divorce terms and issues in their divorce.

Residency Requirements and Waiting Periods

In Michigan, there are residency requirements and waiting periods for both contested and uncontested divorces. When filing for divorce in Michigan, at least one of the parties must be a resident of the state for at least 180 days immediately preceding the filing of the divorce. Once a divorce is filed, there is a mandatory waiting period of at least 60 days before it can be finalized.

Clarity Family Law is Here to Help, Call Today!

If you’re considering filing for a divorce in Michigan, you may be wondering whether it is an uncontested or contested divorce. At Clarity Family Law, our experienced legal representation team understand that this can be a confusing and overwhelming process. Our team of family law attorneys is here to facilitate the resolution of differences through negotiation.

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties reach an agreement on all aspects of the divorce without the need for a court trial, leading to a default judgment. This divorce type is often cheaper and faster than a contested divorce.

Our knowledgeable legal team of attorneys can guide you through and ensure equitable distribution of assets and that all legal requirements are met to have your divorce finalized promptly.

Contact us today to learn more about how our experienced uncontested divorce lawyers can support you in all divorce matters!

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