The Divorce Trial Process in Michigan
After all the preparation is done to file for divorce your paperwork will be filed with the respective Circuit Court in your area. Before a case may be filed there are certain residency requirements which must be met by each party.
Once your paperwork is filed, as the individual filing for divorce, you will be known as the plaintiff while your spouse will be the defendant. The case will be handled in the Family Court division. The paperwork filed with the court is officially called a complaint.
At Grewal Law PLLC, your Lansing Divorce Lawyers, we will help you throughout the entire trial process. Our team will help you prepare to file and will be with you at each step of the process
Call us today for a free consultation at (888) 211-5798.
Filing a Complaint
Since Michigan is a no fault divorce state you do not need a reason to file for divorce other than stating the marriage relationship has “been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”
Even though fault does not need to be determined, the complaint will need to outline children involved in the case and to confirm the residency of both parties.
As the plaintiff in the case, you will be asking the court to grant requests related to specific issues surrounding the divorce.
Aside from asking for the divorce itself the issues outlined in the case may include the following items:
- Establishment of paternity
- Determining parenting time
- Setting up custody arrangements for a child
- Ordering child support and/or alimony
- Division of property, assets, insurance, retirement accounts and other investments
Once your case is filed in Circuit Court, there are different requirements depending on whether or not the divorce involves children. Cases where issues such as child custody, parenting time, and child support will need to be arranged to have a six month waiting period.
Children are defined as minors under the age of 18 or those who are still in high school up through the age of 19 and 6 months old.
After you have filed the paperwork as the plaintiff, the court will issue a copy of the complaint to the defendant or other party in your case. The delivery will also include a summons which requires the defendant to respond to the issues outlined in the complaint. The delivery of the summons and complaint is the official start of your divorce case.
The defendant in the case is typically given 21 days once receiving the complaint to respond. During this time, the other party has a chance to issue an answer to the allegations and requests outlined in the complaint. Typically, if the party does not respond within the three-week time period the judge may issue a default judgment in your favor.
Once a complaint has been issued requesting a divorce, both parties have to disclose their assets, salary information, debts and retirement information. The purpose of sharing the information is to help work towards a settlement in the divorce.
During this time period, it is the job of your experienced divorce attorney to help you work towards reaching an agreement to meet your needs. If an agreement is not reached, your case will proceed to a hearing.
There are alternatives to appearing in court regarding your divorce. Through the process of mediation, both parties meet with a neutral party who is a trained mediator. The mediator works to open communication helping to work towards a resolution without making you appear in court.
Our divorce lawyers are trained professionals to help you throughout the mediation or trial process.
Types of Court Orders
When decisions are made related to your divorce case they will be issued in the form of an order. There are different types of orders which may be issued in your case. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is important to ensure your best interest and those of your children are considered in all orders.
First, Temporary Orders are issued allowing more time for the parties to gather evidence and to build a case to present in court. Most temporary orders revolve around child custody and parenting time.
The second type of orders issued is Ex Parte Orders. These orders are issued when there is a cause to believe harm may come to someone involved in the case. Typically, these are issued related to child support, custody or parenting time.
In addition to the orders listed above, once the divorce case is reaching its end, the judge will issue Final Orders related to your case. These orders are typically the result of agreements reached between the two parties of the case called consent agreements.
Divorce Decree Issued
Once final orders are issued there is a 60 day waiting period from the time of the order until a divorce is finalized if no minor children are involved in your case. Cases including minor children require 180 days waiting period. After the divorce is finalized, the court will record a certified copy of the decree in the respective county.
Contact an established divorce law firm for your free initial consultation
The divorce trial process can be a long and grueling process. You deserve to have the most experienced divorce attorney in your area to walk you through every step. Our team has over ten years of experience handling divorce cases in the Lansing area.Call our team at Grewal Law today for your free consultation at (888) 211-5798.