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Michigan Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in Michigan, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of Michigan should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of Michigan Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified Michigan Divorce Professional.

  • First, the spouse filing the complaint for divorce or the responding spouse to that complaint must be a resident of Michigan for at least 180 days before the complaint is filed. Second, at least one of the separating spouses must have resided in the county where the complaint was filed for at least 10 days before the complaint is filed. If one or both of the residency requirements are not met, then the court does not have jurisdiction to hear and decide the divorce.
  • Michigan is a no-fault state. Obtaining a no-fault divorce under Michigan law requires a demonstration of what legally are known as irreconcilable differences: "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."
  • Divorce is not automatic. In other words, Michigan law establishes a waiting period from the filing of a divorce complaint until the marriage is terminated. Testimony and evidence cannot be presented in a divorce case until the expiration of 60 days from the date of filing of the divorce complaint.
  • The court's decision about property distribution is final and permanent. Marital property is equitably divided. That does not necessary mean equally but fairly. If the separating spouses cannot come to an agreement about the division of their property, assets and debts, then the court does it for them.
  • The court decides alimony on a case-by-case basis. Some Michigan divorces may include spousal support, or alimony, either agreed to by each spouse or awarded by the court. If the court enters a judgment concerning the amount of alimony and the amount is still insufficient to the awarded spouse, the court may then grant either real or personal property to the spouse in addition to the previous judgment amount.
  • Michigan divorce courts always encourage the separating spouses to agree to joint custody unless it is not in the best interest of the child. Michigan state law requires child custody based on the best interests of the child principle. The best interests of a child include the emotional bond between the child and each of the parents, the parent's capacity to give the child both financial and emotional support, the moral aptitude of each parent, and the mental and physical well-being of each parent.

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