Michigan Divorce: 10 Things You Need to Know


Divorce is one of the most challenging situations any person can go through because it involves changes in multiple lives and a potential impact on your children. It isn’t very easy for you to recognize the various steps of the process and what you need to complete to move forward.

Because divorce is often very contentious, it can create tension between you and your partner. Contention within a household while a divorce is pending can be complex for your children. You and your partner must take great caution when speaking with or about each other.

When it comes time to go through the process, you need to know a few vital things that can get you through it as seamless as possible. Below, we’ll discuss ten things that you need to know about your Michigan divorce and what steps to take to complete the dissolution of your marriage in the most effective way possible.

Below, you’ll learn about the following:

  • Requirements to file a divorce
  • Delivering divorce papers
  • When to consider mediation
  • What to consider when divorcing
  • Going through child custody
  • How child support works
  • Alimony and spousal support orders
  • The property division process
  • Drafting a pre-nuptial agreement
  • The option of a post-nuptial agreement

Call our firm at (888) 211-5798 today if you need guidance if you need help through this difficult time.

1. Requirements to File a Divorce

One of the first things you should know is what requirements there are to divorce in the state of Michigan. You may be unaware of the residency requirements that state you must be a resident in Michigan for at least 180 days prior to filing a divorce. You must also be a resident in the county in which you are filing for a minimum of 10 days.

There are a few exceptions to the residency requirements, though. You may get through divorce quicker if your spouse is a risk to take your children out of the country.

You must also wait at least 60 days for a divorce to go through if there are no children in your marriage. When you have children with the partner you are divorcing, you must wait at least 6 months. It can be much longer in contentious matters.

2. Delivering Divorce Papers

After filing for a divorce in Michigan, you must deliver a copy of your summons and complaint to your spouse within 91 days of filing. However, you may not serve these papers yourself, and you need to have someone else do it for you.

Most often, you can ask a friend to serve your spouse the divorce papers. Some people opt to have a process server deliver the divorce papers or another local authority.

3. When to Consider Mediation

Mediation is a process that can help you get through your divorce much easier. Mediation is when you and your spouse discuss the various aspects of your divorce in an amicable way, allowing you and your spouse to have more decision-making abilities throughout the process.

A mediator oversees the conversations to ensure a fair and friendly decision. Mediation is a great option if you and your spouse can work together without significant arguing and problems.

4. What to Consider When Divorcing

When it comes time to divorce, you should make sure you consider all factors when preparing your paperwork. Make sure you have documentation of all your income and assets, as well as your marital property that the courts may split during property division.

All paperwork should be accurate and account for everything that you must include in your divorce papers. Any mistakes can be problematic, making the process even longer and more expensive to endure.

5. Going Through Child Custody

Child custody can be the most contentious part of a divorce. While joint physical and legal custody can occur in divorce, many courts give one parent sole physical and legal custody, meaning the other only receives a few days of custody and visitation time.

Protecting yourself in child custody matters means showing that it is in your children’s best interests for you to have sole or joint legal and physical custody. You may need to show your home is a safe place for your children, and you can fully provide for them. The courts may also consider your children’s wishes.

6. How Child Support Works

The non-custodial parent must pay child support to the parent with custody of the children. The idea behind child support is to pay for anything the children need, including clothes, food, school supplies, and more.

The courts consider numerous factors when determining the amount of child support necessary. For instance, the income of both parents, the needs of the children, the children’s age, and more can come into play with regards to the child custody order.

7. Alimony and Spousal Support Orders

Another contentious aspect of divorce is alimony. Many courts order one spouse to pay the other alimony to maintain a quality of life. The courts determine alimony using the length of the marriage, the age of you and your spouse, any monetary needs, and more.

Alimony typically ends when the spouse receiving alimony remarries. It’s also important to note you can request a modification of alimony if your ex-spouse receives training and earns an occupation in which spousal support is no longer a necessity.

8. The Property Division Process

Property division typically looks at your marital and separate property to determine what you and your ex-spouse receive. Separate property is anything that you or your spouse had before you wed and brought into your marriage. Separate property can also include inheritances and gifts you receive.

The court may order either you or your spouse the house, but in some situations, you may have to sell the home and split the earnings. The courts are often looking for a fair division of property to ensure both parties walk away in the most effective way possible.

9. Drafting a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

A pre-nuptial agreement is a document you and your partner draft before getting married that can help protect your assets and your rights in the event of a divorce. A pre-nuptial agreement lays out valuable information regarding who gets what assets should you and your partner divorce in the future.

If you have a pre-nuptial agreement in place, it becomes easier for your lawyer to protect you in the event of a divorce. The pre-nuptial agreement is something you can provide to the court to help them make divide your property quickly and easily.

10. The Option of a Post-Nuptial Agreement

Not everyone thinks about a pre-nuptial agreement because it’s difficult to think about the idea of getting a divorce before you’re even married. Many options can allow for a post-nuptial agreement. This document is the same as a pre-nuptial agreement, but you file it after your marriage. It still protects your rights in a divorce.

It would be in your best interest to speak with a lawyer about drafting a post-nuptial agreement so that you can move forward with your rights intact.

At Grewal Law PLLC, our Michigan divorce lawyers are ready to help you throughout the entire process. We’ll look to protect your family’s best interests and guide you towards a successful resolution. Trust that we’ll work hard on your behalf because it is a time in your life in which you deserve it the most.

If you are going through a divorce, know that our team is here for you. Call our team at (888) 211-5798 today and let us know about your situation.

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