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Filing for a divorce in Michigan

Are you living in Michigan and are unsure about how to go about filing for a divorce? Or have you moved there recently and would like to file for a divorce? Going through a divorce is never easy, but hopefully, this article will help you answer some of your questions.

Read this article for all the information you need about how to file for a divorce in Michigan. Divorce forms are also included in a link to Michigan Divorce Law web site and I've also included everything else you need to know about filing for divorce in the state of Michigan.

1. How long would I have to live in Michigan before filing for a divorce?
When you live in Michigan, there is a certain amount of time that you would have had to have lived in the state before filing for a divorce. That amount of time is at least 180 days, which is about 6 months.

2. Where would you file for a divorce in Michigan and how to file for divorce?
You would have to file for a divorce in the county where you and your spouse live, in the family circuit court, but it is is also possible to file for divorce in the county where your spouse lives if you are no longer living together. You should have at least stayed there though for a minimum for 10 days, but there is an exception to the 10-day rule. And that is if you have minor children involved and you are afraid that your spouse might take your children out of America to another country. That is also if your spouse was originally born in another country. So if your spouse is a flight risk with your children, and the judge has reason to believe that this is a possibility, then the 10-day rule would not apply.

You can also file for divorce in Michigan if one spouse stays in the state, but the court might have limited jurisdiction in this case. For example, if children are involved, there are custody issues, child support issues and how to divide your property. If this is the case, it would be wise to get a lawyer involved. There is also a waiting period. If no children are involved there will be a 60 day waiting period before a divorce can be granted. If there are minor children involved the waiting period is usually 6 months. Unless you or your children are facing unusual hardships, then the judge can waiver the length of time that it takes for the divorce to be granted.

In Michigan, you also do not have to prove your grounds for divorce. If you say that there has been a “breakdown of the marriage to such a point where neither of you will be able to make the marriage work”, you can be granted a divorce.

The forms you need to fill out can be found on this site along with other excellent advice. On this specific site, there are also forms for you to fill out that allow for you to file for divorce yourself, without a lawyer.

There is also another site you can use which will help you see whether you can file for divorce online. That site is

3. The fastest way to get a divorce is if the divorce is agreed to by both parties and no children are involved.
If both parties agree to the divorce, the couple must meet all the residency requirements. The couple must also sign any necessary documentation and agree to and attend any hearings. They also need to agree to the division and distribution of property and custody of children, if any.

4.If the divorce is uncontested in Michigan.
An uncontested divorce means that the defendant ignores the action of the divorce and does not give an answer, Or it means that the defendant can not be located. In this situation, both instances get resolved by default.

In this case, the Plaintiff must fill out all the divorce forms filed in a contested divorce. Other forms which need to be filled out, would be a Summons which allows the Defendant 21 days to answer the complaint, and 28 days if the Defendant is out of the state of Michigan.

The Summons serves to show that the Defendant has been put on record to state that they understand their rights. All other forms that need to be sent to the Defendant can be sent via certified mail. If the parties come to agreement the divorce can move along as a contested divorce. But it's also interesting to note that a lot of times divorces that start off as contested end up being uncontested because as the case works through all the issues, the parties continue to bargain.

5. How much does it cost to get a divorce in Michigan?
On average an uncontested divorce in Michigan can cost between $1200 and $1500 with court filing fees and other legal documents. If your divorce is contested this can increase your divorces fees dramatically, with the starting price being $5000; especially if there are complications such as children being involved.

6. How can I Keep my costs down whilst filing for a divorce?
If you would like to have an affordable divorce what could you do to keep your costs down?
First things first, ask your attorney for a quote upfront. The quote should show you the estimated cost of your case. Try to maximize your time with your attorney. Save up all your questions for when you meet with your attorney. Rather than asking one question at a time. If you can, try to reach an agreement with your spouse, so that you do not have to go to trial. Rather look for an alternative instead of going to trial. If you can come to an agreement sooner rather than later this will keep also keep your overall costs down.

7. Do you really need a lawyer to file for a divorce in Michigan?
No, you can get a divorce in Michigan without a lawyer but without a professional, you could be placing yourself in a difficult situation, if you do not understand all your rights. There are also a number of legal aid agencies that can help you build your case without hiring an attorney.

Going through a divorce is never easy. There are always so many questions, fees involved and a lot of the time, major emotional stress. If you do your research, ask the right questions and look for the correct professional help, you can have a quick and easy divorce. I really hope the links that have been provided and the information will be helpful. Wishing you all the best.

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