(Yep, a legal separation means you can still file jointly on your return, which isn’t an option after you divorce.) While it’s not usually necessary to hire an accountant prior to filing for divorce, it’s a good idea to put together a simple balance sheet showing all of your assets and debts. Read More: Separation vs. Divorce in Michigan You will go to the LawHelp Interactive website to do this. For more information on going to court, watch the video provided by Michigan Legal Aid at. Although the process to obtain an uncontested divorce is simpler than a contested one, you still need to follow many of the typical divorce procedures. This article will explain uncontested divorces in Michigan. Once divorce is eminent, there’s one requirement in the state of Michigan that needs to be met before filing. A do it yourself divorce in MI involves a ‘divorce petition,’ which can be obtained at a legal aid service. In situations where the defendant agrees with everything you’ve put in the complaint, or you have a written settlement agreement, the defendant doesn’t have to file an answer at all. If you meet the income guidelines, a judge will sign an order eliminating all fees for the duration of the case. The judge will have some brief questions about the settlement, but if the court finds that the agreement is fair and everything is in order, a judge will sign and issue the final divorce decree. A lesser known fact about divorce is that it’s possible, in Michigan, to have one in all but name. The physical, mental and emotional health of each spouse. At some point, if the case doesn’t end in default, you and your spouse will need to complete and file a written settlement agreement, which resolves all issues related to property, money, children, and alimony in your case. If you and your spouse do not agree on how to separate your property, or if you have children and need to come up with a custody arrangement, you should hire an attorney to assist you. There are 57 circuit courts in Michigan, but the Michigan Judicial Branch has a map you can use to locate the correct circuit court for your case. Do-It-Yourself Divorce Use this tool to prepare the forms to file for divorce in Michigan. It’s a good idea to type everything on a computer or write or print neatly. You’ll generally need to wait 60 days before your court will enter a judgment for divorce or 180 days if you have children. Why do I have to wait 6 months before my divorce is finalized? (Divorce). wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. If, by the time you attend the conference, you and your spouse have worked out most of your issues, the judge may set a date for your final hearing. § 552.9 (2020). Pay attention to the rules and be cautious, because there are very strict rules governing what is and what isn’t proper service. Step 2 - The spouse who decides to file for divorce must complete the forms and then file them with the Circuit Court Clerk's Office in the county where he or … The plaintiff must meet Michigan’s residency requirements (180 days in the state and 10 days in the county), and properly serve the other party under the service requirements in the Michigan Court Rules. The court filing fees for a divorce are currently $255 for a divorce with children and $175 for a divorce without children. To get help finding an attorney, visit, If you have children, you will need to provide the program information on your proposed “parenting plan.” A parenting plan outlines the custody arrangement between you and your spouse. The state of Michigan permits divorcing couples to file the necessary court paperwork themselves without legal assistance. Remember that you must have lived in the county where you file for at least 10 days before you file. No, you can get a divorce in Michigan without a lawyer but without a professional, you could be placing yourself in a difficult situation, if you do not understand all your rights. You must attend mediation meetings so they can write recommendations to the judge pertaining to child support, alimony, custody and/or parenting time. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. The key documents you'll need to prepare are the summons and complaint, which gives the court information about you, your spouse, your marriage, and what you hope to obtain in your divorce. Avvo has 97% of all lawyers in the US. Follow these simple steps: Check if you meet the residency requirements of the state. There is also a $20 filing fee for motions (a request for the court to do something), including a motion to finalize the divorce. It means the act of legally separating from your spouse is in many ways just like a divorce. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 188,716 times. You can obtain a simple divorce in Michigan, called an “uncontested divorce,” which may save you a lot of time and money. Doctor of Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison. If you want to get a divorce and either you or your spouse lives in Michigan, you will be able to file without an attorney. References. You must add an addendum to your petition for divorce, on the judgement day it should be granted. The waiting period is 180 days if you and your spouse do have children. No other reason for the divorce needs to be cited. Complete your online Michigan divorce papers without a lawyer. Once the defendant’s time to respond to the divorce petition has expired, the plaintiff can schedule a final hearing. District courts and probate courts don’t handle family law cases. You can still settle everything later. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. by having a process server personally serve your spouse. If, after meeting with an attorney, you think of other questions you would like to ask, don’t hesitate to call back and ask. During the meeting, you can ask questions about your case and situation, and gage whether you get along with the attorney. Any settlement should be memorialized into a written divorce agreement. Each party’s contributions to the marital assets. A “contested” divorce where the parties do not agree can be extremely complicated, and you should have an expert to help you get the best possible outcome. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Pay filing fees. There are three levels of trial courts in Michigan, so it’s easy to get confused. Whether or not you have children, you will need to gather information on your property and finances, along with your spouse’s. An uncontested divorce simply means that both spouses agree on all the key terms of the divorce, including: Couples seeking an uncontested divorce should resolve all issues on their own or with the help of a mediator. If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, don't worry. The plaintiff must attend the final hearing. Immediately prior to filing for divorce, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Michigan for 180 days and a resident of the county for at least 10 days where the divorce is filed. whether the spouse who would pay can afford to do so. You may serve the papers through a process server or sheriff’s deputy or your spouse may agree to accept service of the papers by filing a written waiver. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. Michigan is a pure no-fault state, which means the only acceptable ground for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, which is just a fancy way of saying your marriage is so badly damaged that it can’t be saved and it has to end in divorce. In fact, you can even give mediation a try if you’re having trouble working out an agreement with your spouse. by having a friend or relative personally serve your spouse. In almost every state of the country, this is the cost of filing for divorce. Filing for Divorce in Michigan as Uncontested No-Fault, With or Without Children, Provides an Easy, DIY, Private, and Affordable Option Without the Expense of a Lawyer, Mediator, or MI Court Trial Litigation. Once your paperwork is complete, you’ll need to file your divorce papers in the correct courthouse including the summons, complaint, and any other required documents that were listed in the instructions that came with your forms. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can try to obtain legal help on a “pro bono” (free) basis. You can learn more about the divorce process on Michigan Courts Self-Help Center site. If you can’t get a referral from anyone you know, check online websites like Find Law, Avvo, and Yahoo Local to find a qualified attorney. You can get the forms from your local court clerk. Evidence of domestic violence against the child or against either parent. In Michigan, can my spouse be having sex legally with someone else after filing for divorce if I am not yet served? Fill out your Forms Each step must be completed before a judge can sign off on your divorce. Of course they can. Find the best ones near you. Contributions include income and other contributions, like being the primary parent. Do I still need to go through a divorce if we were married for a short amount with no children? On the day of your hearing, make sure to arrive at the courthouse 10-15 minutes early and dress nicely. For more tips from our Legal co-author, including how to negotiate divorce terms with your spouse, read on. Access the forms you will need and resources where you can get help. Therefore, if you or your current spouse is a resident of Michigan and has been for the past six months, you may file for divorce in Michigan. If you rush through the papers and make mistakes, your divorce could be delayed. The “answer” is filled out using the interactive interview program discussed above. Find information and instructions on filing for divorce or legal separation to end your marriage or domestic partnership (or both), with a step-by-step guide to filling out and filing your papers in court. 552.7.) In that case, you and your spouse can file the final divorce paperwork together or a judge may enter a default judgment against your spouse, granting you everything asked for in the divorce complaint. However, you should ask the court clerk if this is available in your county, because in most cases you cannot personally serve your spouse. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Usually, when a couple … Filing for divorce in Saginaw County, neither spouse has to prove the other party's misconduct. The criminal history of either parent, and of any person living with one of the parents. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Discuss Property Distribution. The child's attachment to his or her home, school and community. It’s not illegal to have an extramarital affair. What should I do if I don't know where my wife is? http://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/family/i-need-divorce-and-i-have-children, http://michiganlegalhelp.org/organizations-courts/, http://www.michiganlegalhelp.org/sites/default/files/attachments/sample-parenting-time-schedule-a.pdf, http://www.michiganlegalhelp.org/sites/default/files/attachments/sample-parenting-time-schedule-b.pdf, http://www.michiganlegalhelp.org/sites/default/files/attachments/sample-parenting-time-schedule-c.pdf, http://www.michiganlegalhelp.org/sites/default/files/attachments/sample-parenting-time-schedule-d.pdf, https://lawhelpinteractive.org/Interview/GenerateInterview/1360/engine, http://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/miscellaneous/automated-online-waiver-suspension-fees-costs-form, http://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/family/automated-online-divorce-answer-and-counterclaim-forms, http://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/family/i-need-divorce-and-i-do-not-have-minor-children, http://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/family/automated-online-divorce-forms, http://michiganlegalhelp.org/self-help-tools/family/my-spouse-filed-divorce-and-we-have-minor-children, http://www.michigandivorcehelp.com/the-divorce-process/part-i-the-divorce-process, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. 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