Considerations Before Filing for a Divorce
GROUNDS FOR A DIVORCE
Michigan is a No Fault divorce state. This means that there is no requirement to prove fault to get a divorce. The words no fault can be misleading - the judge may consider fault in deciding spousal support, property, parenting time, or custody.
The only required ground for divorce that comes directly from the Michigan statute that provides as follows: There has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved (MCL 552.6). Basically it is an “irreconcilable differences” statement and the statement is all a court is required to know to grant a divorce.
WHO SHOULD FILE FIRST
A common question for a person considering filing for divorce is whether it matters who files first. Generally, there is no advantage as to whether to file first or not. However, in some circumstances there are advantages to filing first.
One advantage is the ability to also file an order or ex parte order in circumstances that involve abuse, financial manipulation, or the potential of either. The first to file the complaint may also have the advantage of filing a motion to maintain the status quo or the couple’s assets during the proceedings. Or in abuse situations, provide personal protection for the abused individual(s).
A party must reside in Michigan for at least 180 days before filing a complaint for divorce. Also, the party must reside in the county where the complaint is filed for at least ten days before filing the complaint of divorce.
The divorce may not be finalized if it involves minor children until six months after the complaint is filed. In a case in which no minor children are involved, the earliest is 60 days. The count period begins on the day the complaint is filed.
The length of time that your case will take to complete and the cost to you cannot be predicted and no promise regarding these can be made.
WHAT ELSE IS INVOLVED
Filing a complaint. Filing an answer. Summons. Affidavits. Verified statement to the Friend of the Court. Discovery. Subpoenas. Record of Divorce. Ex parte orders. Injunctions. Personal Protection Orders. Court fees. Notice of hearings, motions, filing fees. Temporary orders.
Divorce proceedings often become very intensive matters. Attention to detail is extremely important. While parties can represent themselves in the proceedings (referred to as pro se or pro per) it not recommended. Googling your way through your own divorce is a risky decision. Emotions run high that may result in overlooking important details. Mistakes can have major negative consequences. You should have an attorney on your side to protect your best interest.
If you feel that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved, call me at 269-945-2242 or click here to contact me to set up an appointment to discuss your options.
*This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney before making important decisions regarding your individual situation.