How to File for Divorce in Michigan
Couples seeking a divorce in Michigan will need to follow the state's regulations closely. There are different rules for filing in each state, and if you wish to file for divorce in Michigan you should understand the state's rules.
1. Complete Your Divorce Paperwork
Before you can file for divorce in Michigan, you will need to fill out a complaint. You can obtain complaint forms at your local county courthouse. You will be required to answer all applicable questions, including questions about you, your spouse, any children you may have, and your marriage.
You will need to include grounds for the divorce, which are simple “no-fault” grounds in Michigan. Essentially, to file for divorce in Michigan, you must affirm that your marriage has broken down and that no reconciliation is possible in your view.
You will also need to request relief, or terms of the divorce. You may ask to change your name back to a previous name, or ask for child support, alimony, or anything else you believe would be a reasonable result of a divorce order.
2. File the Paperwork
After you complete your paperwork, you will be ready to file for divorce in Michigan. This can be completed by going to your county courthouse and asking to file the papers with the clerk of the court. You will be charged a filing fee before your paperwork will be accepted, and the clerk will then stamp and file your divorce papers.
3. Serve Your Spouse
After you file for divorce in Michigan, you will be required to give official notice to your spouse. This can generally be accomplished by paying a nominal fee to the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office will send a deputy to your spouse's home or place of employment and serve the papers to them. They will notify your spouse of their ability to file an answer to your divorce complaint. If your spouse refuses to answer the complaint, you will be granted a divorce by default, which gives you everything that you asked for in the complaint as a general rule.
4. Hurry Up and Wait
There will be at least a 60 day waiting period after you file for divorce in Michigan before your divorce will be complete. If you have children, the waiting period will be even longer—usually about 6 months. While this waiting period may seem difficult, it is generally used for spouses to work out a settlement or even potentially to attempt counseling and reconciliation.
5. Trial or Settlement
Most of the time, couples who file for divorce in Michigan will not continue the divorce process until it reaches the trial stage. Instead, once couples can figure out a compromise that will be acceptable to both people, they draft a settlement agreement that divides all their property and settles all other issues remaining in the divorce.