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What you should know about divorce in Michigan

There are many self-help and toolkit options which assist parties in filing the appropriate divorce paperwork, but in many cases divorce can get complex, particularly when there are children, assets and property involved. For anyone contemplating divorce, it is important to have a basic understanding of what the process entails.

All divorce cases in Michigan are handled by the family division of circuit courts. For a divorce proceeding to be initiated in Michigan, one of the parties involved must file a complaint requesting the court to grant the divorce. There is a residency requirement which must be met, meaning that it is essential of one of the parties involved in the divorce to have resided in Michigan for at least six months, and at least 10 days in the county in which the divorce paperwork is being filed.

There is a filing fee involved. The filing fee is due at the time the divorce complaint is filed. A summons, which is a written notification for one to appear in court, is issued. Notice of the divorce complaint is served on the other party. Hearings are scheduled and parties are given notice of the hearings. Parties must provide answers to the complaint and all scheduled hearings must be attended. The eventual result of all the filings, answers and hearings will be the entry of a judgment of divorce.

Sometimes one party may want a divorce while the other party may not. However, it is very important to keep in mind that a divorce can be granted even if the other party is opposed to it. If the parties do not have any minor children there is a two month waiting period before the divorce is granted. In cases where minor children are involved, there is typically a six month waiting period.

Divorce cases where children are involved can get more complex. During the divorce proceeding the courts will typically address divorce legal issues such as child custody, parenting time, child support, property division and spousal support.

Source: Michigan Courts, "Types of Court Cases," Accessed Dec. 29, 2014

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