Divorce Procedures in Michigan

Of all legal issues, family matters are unique in that the issues involved are usually very personal and the decisions made during the divorce process, often have a lifelong imact on not just you, but your children, and your entire family.  Therefore, it is important that you receive both straight forward and honest answers as it relates to your specific case, so you can make well-informed and sound decisions.  The first step is familiarizing yourself with some basics.  Take a few moments to review the information below, and then schedule an appointment with an experienced divorce attorney that is familiar with the Judges and Friend of the Court in Ithaca, so you can obtain more detailed guidance during this difficult time.

The Basics

The Circuit Court Family Division hears Michigan divorce cases. To file for divorce, at least one party must have lived in Michigan for at least 180 days and in the county that you want to file in, for at least 10 days.

Divorce in Michigan will almost always be granted even if one party does not want it. Michigan law requires a showing that there is a breakdown in the relationship, and as long as one party feels there has been a breakdown, the court will find this to be sufficient to grant the divorce.

Waiting Periods

If the couple has no minor children, barring unusual circumstances, the divorce can not be finalized for  60-days from the date the divorce is filed.  If there are minor children involved, the divorce can not be finalized for 6 months.

Are children involved?

Michigan courts make custody decisions based on the best interests of the child(ren).  Although divorce judgments address visitation, custody and support, parties need to know that after the divorce is final these agreements may be adjusted until the children are of legal age.

Parents seeking a divorce in Michigan are entitled to services from the Friend of the Court (FOC) office regarding custody, parenting time, and support.  But Parties can opt out of FOC services if they mutually agree, and some other provisions are met that would allow the court to determine that the parties are in an equal position to make decisions about their child(ren).

Steps in the process

After the plaintiff spouse files a divorce complaint, the defendant spouse receives a summons and copy of the complaint, and, and if personally served, he/she has 21 days to answer. If applicable, a motion is filed asking the court to decide custody, parenting time, and child support.

If parties agree on asset and debt division, a property settlement can be entered at any time after the divorce is filed.  Sometimes this happens within weeks of the filing.  Other times, this happens after the parties conduct discovery to determine what assets are subject to division, and what their values are.  If property and, when applicable, child custody, are agreed upon, the divorce finalizes without a trial. Otherwise, further hearings must take place for the Judge to decide unresolved disputes.

Property division

Assets and debts acquired during marriage are divided equitably in Michigan, according to case circumstances. In most situations, pre-marriage property reverts to the original owner, unless this would result in an inequitable division of property.

Alimony

Spousal support may be ordered for a specific period.  Some factors the court considers in determining the amount of support and length of time it is paid are as follows:

  • Ability to pay
  • Character and situation of the parties
  • Past relations and conduct of the parties
  • Marriage length
  • Ability to work
  • Ages, needs, and health of spouse

Consult a skilled Ithaca divorce attorney

The road to divorce may seem long. You may feel wary of the twists and turns ahead. Having an Ithaca divorce lawyer that is familiar with the Judges and Friend of the Court in Ithaca, Michigan, so you can utilize his or her knowledge, skills and experience could be crucial.

Divorce may be the end to marriage, but it also is the start of a new chapter. Write that beginning confidently with Jackson, Jackson & Associates on your side. Call (989) 224-6734 or contact us online.

Of all legal issues, family matters are unique in that the issues involved are usually very personal and the decisions made during the divorce process, often have a lifelong imact on not just you, but your children, and your entire family.  Therefore, it is important that you receive both straight forward and honest answers as it relates to your specific case, so you can make well-informed and sound decisions.  The first step is familiarizing yourself with some basics.  Take a few

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Edward William Jackson

Licensed since 1997

Member at firm Jackson, Jackson & Hayes, P.C.

Edward William Jackson

Licensed since 1997

Member at firm Jackson, Jackson & Hayes, P.C.