When your marriage is no longer working for you, divorce may be the only solution. It is often a painful decision, though, for many women, it can be the way to close an old chapter and move forward into a happier life.
In order to file for divorce in Michigan, your spouse or you must have lived in this state for 180-days immediately prior to filing the complaint. Additionally, one of you has to live in the county where the complaint is filed for at least ten days before divorce proceedings are filed.
Should your spouse live out of state, you will need to show that you both lived together as a married couple in Michigan or that you’ve been a state resident for a year prior to filing for divorce.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
Since Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, neither spouse needs to prove that the other one’s actions were the ultimate cause for divorce. The good news is that these types of divorces can be resolved much more quickly. Even better, you won’t need to get your spouse’s consent to end the marriage.
The Michigan courts will find there are grounds to grant a divorce when you state in a complaint that there has been a breakdown of the relationship in such a way that it can’t be preserved. If you feel there is no chance for reconciliation, you can file for divorce.
Types of Divorce in Michigan
You will need to decide between the two types of divorce options before filing. An uncontested divorce is where both spouses agree on all matters related to the divorce. This includes child custody, division of property, and alimony. By contrast, a contested divorce is where one spouse disagrees on at least one of these matters and must ask the court to decide.
Naturally, an uncontested divorce would be ideal as it’s faster, easier, and less expensive than a contested divorce. However, if there is no agreement, the Law Firm of Victoria, divorce lawyers in Birmingham, recommends that you seek representation to stand by your side and guide you through this difficult time.
Filing for Divorce
You will need to pay a fee to file for divorce in the state of Michigan. The filing fee is $175, including a $25 fee for the state’s electronic filing system. If you have minor children, you will need to pay additional fees.
Don’t stay in a marriage that makes you feel like you can’t breathe. If you can’t afford the fees associated with your divorce, you can ask the judge to waive them through a fee waiver form.
How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce?
Even if your case is uncontested, you and your spouse must attend a hearing before the divorce can be finalized. It should take a minimum of 60 days after filing your papers before you receive a hearing date.
When you have minor children, that mandatory waiting period usually takes six months. There is a waiver for the extended waiting period if you can argue it would cause undue hardship or you need to finalize it sooner.
Hearings in uncontested divorces usually don’t take long, and often, the judge will sign the divorce judgment that same day. With contested divorces, it typically takes longer than six months. Because of this, you should find a divorce lawyer that understands how to advocate for your needs.