Guide to Michigan Divorce Forms
Michigan makes many types of official court forms available online for public use. However, the Michigan courts website states that there are no official, SCAO-approved Michigan divorce forms. This makes filing divorce significantly less easy in Michigan than in states that offer state-approved divorce forms online, but there are still some choices.
Some private services offer Michigan divorce forms, but these will not be guaranteed by the state to be valid in court. You may wish to consult with a divorce lawyer or go to your local courthouse to find more information about Michigan divorce forms that are valid in the county where you live.
Complaint For Divorce
The process of filing divorce papers in Michigan begins when one party files an official complaint for divorce with their local courthouse. The spouse filing the complaint (the plaintiff spouse) will need to complete a complaint for divorce that is valid in the county where they are filing (usually the county where they currently reside).
Among other things, your complaint for divorce Michigan divorce forms must include the following things:
ñ Your and your spouse's names
ñ Your and your spouse's addresses (or last known address if your spouse is missing)
ñ The names and birthdates of any children you have
ñ The grounds for your divorce (typically these are “no fault” grounds based on irretrievable breakdown of the marriage)
ñ What you are requesting from the court (this is also called “relief” and can include child custody or child support, as well as alimony and an equal division of property)
The best way to find out how to file Michigan divorce forms on your own is to go to your courthouse and ask if they have forms available for “pro se” litigants (people who wish to represent themselves).
Answering a Divorce Complaint
If you have received divorce papers and want Michigan divorce forms so you can file an answer, you will need to ask at the courthouse where the divorce was filed (which will not necessarily be the courthouse nearest you). Since no forms are approved on a state basis, you may need an attorney to help you file Michigan divorce forms if you cannot obtain them from the county where the divorce was filed.
In general, your answer will contain very similar content to the original complaint, including grounds for divorce and requested relief.
Settling Your Divorce
Most divorcing couples eventually settle out of court before trial. If you and your spouse agree on what to do with all of your property, you can begin to work on a marital settlement agreement that the court will sign off on. Your marital settlement agreement must contain your names, details about your divorce complaint, and specific descriptions of property and how it is to be divided.
No state-approved marital settlement Michigan divorce forms exist that are valid in the whole state, so once more, you will need to look to the courthouse where the divorce has been filed. Attorneys can also help you fill out forms.
Remember that not all Michigan divorce forms available online are valid, and none of them have been officially approved. Exercise caution before using a packet prepared by anyone unknown to you.