A Brief Introduction to Uncontested Divorce in Michigan
An uncontested divorce in Michigan means the two parties in a divorce action have had no contact with each other, either because the non-filing spouse cannot be located or because the non-filing spouse failed to respond to the Petition for Divorce. In either case, the same uncontested divorce in Michigan procedure is followed.
How to File for an Uncontested Divorce in Michigan
It can be quite the burden to file for an uncontested divorce in Michigan, since all the paperwork comes down to one spouse who acts as the sole petitioner. Uncontested Divorce In Michigan requires all the documents normally required to file for divorce, including:
• Complaint for Divorce, stating important identifying information about both spouses as well as whether children are involved and what property there will be to divide, if any;
• Marital Settlement Agreement, in which the petitioner lists all of their claims regarding how property will be divided, what child custody will be, what child visitation rights are acceptable, and whether child or spousal support orders should need to be created;
• A Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit (UCCJEA), in which any minor child’s proper legal home is stated so as to prevent any kidnapping by the other spouse;
• A Verified Statement and Application for IV-D Services which is used to help collect and keep track of child support payments.
Additionally, petitioners for uncontested divorce in Michigan must file a Summons which gives the other spouse 21 days to answer a Complaint if they are believed to be in Michigan and 28 days if they are believed to be in a different state. The Summons will be mailed to them along with a copy of the Complaint for Divorce. It is only when this complaint goes unanswered and no sheriff is able to locate the other spouse that the divorce becomes a truly uncontested divorce in Michigan.
A Diligent Search
If the spouse in an uncontested divorce in Michigan cannot be located, then the state of Michigan requires that a diligent search be undertaken to find their whereabouts. Such a search includes looking in the phonebooks of possible areas of residence, looking for clues in their local tax records, consulting their friends and family, interviewing the post office of the area where they were last known to reside, discovering if they have a current driver’s license, and checking in with former landlords and employers.
If no address is uncovered using this method, then a Motion and Verification for Alternative Service must be filed. It allows for the summons to be published in the newspaper and hoping that the other spouse will respond.
Aftermath of Filing for an Uncontested Divorce in Michigan
Since no one is available to fight or to contest your claims, everything put in writing in the Complaint for Divorce and the Marital Settlement Agreement will proceed to the Court judge once a hearing is scheduled and will be approved at that time before passing into law.