A Do It Yourself Divorce in Michigan Guide
If you live in Michigan, and you want to file for divorce, this is what you need to know about the steps to take.
A Divorce Petition
A do it yourself divorce in MI involves a ‘divorce petition,’ which can be obtained at a legal aid service. The spouse intending to file for divorce, known as the Petitioner or Plaintiff, must fill it out. After all information has been written down on the document, it is then served personally to the other spouse.
In addition, a copy of the petition is sent to the county court from which either the Petitioner or the other spouse – known as the Respondent or Defendant – resides.
What Is Included in a Divorce Petition?
Any do it yourself divorce in Michigan must have the proper information included: such as names of all parties, husband, wife, and children if applicable. If there’s a separate property between the Petitioner and Respondent, that property along with the address must also be written down. Any stipulations regarding child support and custody must be included. And if necessary, issues on spousal support – also known as “alimony” – will also be stipulated in the petition.
Steps Toward Serving the Petition
For a do it yourself divorce in MI, the petition must reach the Respondent, and at that time the Respondent will either sign the papers to confirm receipt or refuse to sign altogether. This is the process called the “service of process,” and it’s common in any divorce proceeding. Sometimes, too, the Respondent may be difficult to locate. In either case, if locating the Respondent presents a difficulty, or the Respondent refuses to sign, the Petitioner may then hire a professional server to deliver the papers. If even then the Respondent refuses to sign, the Petitioner may ask a court to award a default on the petition after a period of 30 days.
Once the Petition Is Served….
A waiting period then begins after the papers have been signed (or not signed) to help both parties determine all the issues – property distribution, child custody, etc. etc.. Restraining orders are also issued out to both parties as well as stipulations that children cannot be taken out of state for any reason and pieces of property can’t be sold or borrowed against. Additionally, insurance obtained during the marriage can’t be sold or borrowed during this time period.
A Respondent, however, during this particular waiting period may also file a “response” in regards to the divorce petition, stating that he or she either agrees or disagrees with any part of the divorce, or the entire divorce. In the case of complete agreement, the petition may never see a day in court and go on as planned with a judgment for divorce finalized right away.
In the case of a complete disagreement, on any issue….
What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Agree With the Terms of the Divorce?
Common disagreements for a do it yourself divorce in Michigan may involve everything from child custody to some property distribution. Of course, as stated earlier, a Respondent can even disagree with the entire petition and can even request some sort of counseling.
Whatever the case may be, a court hearing would be the next course of action. The issues are then discussed, sometimes with attorneys present if necessary.
Once everything has been agreed upon, whatever the agreement may be, a do it yourself divorce in MI then continues to progress through the waiting period until the final judgment on the petition has been issued.