Online Divorce in Michigan
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If the spouses decide to end their marriage, they need to resolve some issues and agree on each other’s goals and interests. Participating in long legal procedures that take away time and money and cause an enormous amount of stress and energy is a very challenging task. However, the state of Michigan approves completing the forms for dissolving the marriage online. By following the provided instructions, you can complete the forms easily and finish the procedure without a lawyer. Yet, there are certain things you need to know about the entire divorce process before deciding on that move. Let’s find them out together.
Valid Grounds To Get A Divorce
Michigan is the state, which allows dissolving the marriage in the “no-fault” model. In this case, spouses settle the agreement that the marriage can’t continue because of the mutual incompatibility. In other words, they do not get along anymore, and there is no possibility of saving the marriage.
How to Get a Divorce in Michigan
As time goes on, couples sometimes realize that things are not working well in their marriage. The best option in that situation is to move on and decide to dissolve the marriage. If the spouses want to settle the agreement on each other’s interests, they could do it with an uncontested divorce. In other words, couples by themselves can agree on all the key terms of the divorce. More precisely, the spouses can resolve all relevant details about family law without an attorney.
However, couples can’t sometimes agree on everything. In that case, they will need to conduct a contested divorce. Michigan allows no-fault divorces, and it is something that all the couples should know before starting the procedure of dissolving the marriage.
In other words, partners do not have to worry about preparing the evidence and blaming their partner. We recommend you research the Mich. Comp. Laws § 552.6 and get familiar with all the details.
The process of dissolving the marriage where there are no kids involved is not so complex. First, both of the spouses need to fill the necessary forms and, after that, the Court will decide how the property will be divided. Michigan is an “equitable distribution” state. In other words, the spouses must split their property fairly and agreeably.
When the couple has children, the process of divorce will require much more details and form filling. Unfortunately, there are also many things that both partners will have to define. For instance, child support, who will get custody, and spousal support are the essential factors in this situation. Using the child support calculator and by providing all the necessary information, you can get an estimate of how much the non-custodial parent needs to pay to the custodial one.
Also, determining fair child support payments requires the involvement of the Friend of the Court (FOC). After the investigation, the person gives the final recommendations about custody, visitation (parenting time), and child support.
Despite this, it is essential to establish the amount of spousal support or alimony. When the Court has an insight into the financial picture of both spouses, the final decision can be determined.
Michigan Family Laws
Michigan Family Laws refer to all relevant terms about the spousals and their children (in case the partners have kids).
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony
The term spousal support is also known as alimony. In the state of Michigan, the court decides which spousal will get the alimony. Of course, agreeing on different alimony terms is also possible without courts getting involved. There are two types of alimony, the rehabilitative (which comes in the form of short-term help) and the permanent one. All payments of spousal support need to be made through the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau.
Custody and Visitation
The good thing about custody is that child opinion matters. Of course, the Court approves if the child is old enough to be interviewed. In many cases, parents agree about these terms by themselves. However, if they can not settle the agreement, the Judge makes a decision instead of them. Despite the child’s opinion, other factors that include the final decision are the relationship between the child and the parent, the stability of the parent to ensure a comfortable life for the child, and the child’s history. Once the question of the custody is over, it is necessary to determine the visitation procedure. Many parents decide this on their own. However, the Court will help and make a fair agreement if the parents can not do this by themselves.
Supporting the child if you are a parent is necessary. In the process of divorce, every state has its own guidelines and laws, which refer to this topic. There is a Child Support Formula, which people use as a guideline in this state. Generally, some essential factors will affect the final decision of who and how much will pay for child support. The court will consider the financial status of both parents. This means that the court needs to have an insight into the parent’s incomes, debts, assets, and costs. Also, there are more factors included in making the decision such as whether the child has special needs and what are the costs for his health insurance. Supporting the child financially lasts until he turns 18 years old, or it can be longer depending on the Court decision.
Michigan Divorce Papers and Forms
Before we start with the procedure about the list of necessary forms you need to fill, it is essential to understand specific terms. The petitioner is the person who files the divorce petition. On the other hand, the person who gets that document is the respondent. The petition for divorce primarily goes to the clerk. After he reviews the forms that you provided, he will tell you if you can represent yourself in the courthouse.
Anyway, the list of the forms that you need to fill will depend on different circumstances. We will highlight only the most common ones that need to be filled.
- Default Request, Affidavit, Entry, and Judgment requests – Your spouse receives a copy of the Complaint for Divorce with the Summons. He/she has 21 days to complain. If he/she does not respond after that time, the court starts with defendant forms
- Friend of the Court Case Questionnaire is the form for The Friend of the Court. That person investigates and gives the final recommendations on key terms after the divorce. For instance, all essential questions about the child’s life (child support, custody, and visitation), property division, alimony, and spousal support are included here.
- The document of Complaint about Divorce starts the process of dissolving the marriage. This form includes all the basic information about spousals and their marriage.
- The Marital Settlement Agreement is the document that both partners sign. If they sign it, they have settled the agreement on details and conditions of their separation, such as who will get the custody, who will pay for health care insurance, how the property will be divided, and the costs of alimony.
- Judgment of Divorce is the form conducted when the terms of the Marital Settlement Agreement take over a court.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in Michigan
An uncontested divorce means that both spouses agree on all the key terms of the divorce. The state of Michigan does not have some special procedures for uncontested divorces. However, the process of dissolving your marriage will be quicker. Logically, there would not be issues that need to be resolved by the judge at the trial. Keep in mind that you must meet the state’s residency requirements before you file for divorce. Also, the spouses need to live for at least 180 days in Michigan before filing the divorce papers. The waiting period for the divorce can last two months if the spouses do not have kids, and six months if the couple has kids.
What If I Have Contested Divorce?
Sometimes couples can not find the best solution for resolving their misunderstanding and issue. In these cases, it is good to find help from a mediator or some family lawyer. However, if there is no possibility to resolve existing problems, the court will handle the case. It is questionable how long will the process of divorce last in those cases. Depending on the complexity of the problems, it can take even a year to finalize the process.
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How to File Divorce Papers in Michigan?
The entire process of filing divorce papers will probably seem complex to the petitioner. However, we will try to make it clear to you. Before everything, the petitioner needs to gather all the essential pieces of information. After that, the person needs to decide on the best possible type of divorce process. The option you have is collaborative divorce, mediation, litigation, etc. Next thing is to fill all the necessary forms. You can ask the attorney to help you file the petition, or you can do that online.
The next step is to fill the necessary documents at the Clerk of the Court’s office in your county. Keep in mind that this step requires some additional fees. The filing fee depends on the type of divorce process that you have chosen. After that, you need to serve your spouse, which we described carefully in the text below. Finally, the last task couples have is to complete the necessary forms to get the financial disclosure.
File your Divorce Paperwork
When you choose the option to handle your case and file the divorce papers by yourself, you need to be careful where you file your divorce papers. Logically, your case will be neglected if you file the documents in the wrong place. If you inform yourself properly, you would not have to start the process all over again and to lose time. Pay attention because there are three levels of trial courts in the state of Michigan. For that reason, many people get confused. For instance, district and probate courts are not obligated for family law cases. The courts you are looking for are circuit courts. However, there are 57 of them in Michigan, so you need to find the one for your case. You can use the map of the Michigan Judicial Branch and locate the right circuit court.
Serve your Spouse
There are a couple of ways that you can consider when you need to serve the petition for divorce to your partner. The first way includes that the document is delivered in-person (however, you can’t do that by yourself). After that, the person completing the service must fill out a Proof of Service form and have it notarized. Also, he can return it to you or deliver it directly to the Court. That is the confirmation that your partner has received the documents. Any person who is more than 18 years old or the Sheriff’s Service can deliver the documents for you. After that, the clerk will take over the documents. Finally, the other option is to deliver the petition with the help of Certified Mail Service.
Both spouses need to complete forms to get financial disclosure. The forms include information such as incomes, debts, expenses, and assets. These details will give an insight into the spouse’s financial picture. The spouses need to complete this precise and clear. The financial disclosure will depend based on the information the spouses give. The court will define the costs of child support and alimony in financial disclosure.
How to Serve Divorce Papers in Michigan
You need to serve your documents of filing for the divorce in the right circuit court for your case.
When the process of dissolving the marriage is over, the spouses get a legal document, known as a divorce decree. The document is signed by a judge. Once you formally end your marriage, you should follow the responsibilities in the document. For instance, financial plans about custody, alimony, child support, and property division are included there.
How to Get a Divorce In Michigan Without a Lawyer
Getting a divorce in Michigan without a lawyer may seem complex. However, it is one of the opportunities that all couples have. That especially counts when we talk about uncontested divorces. It is always a better option for both partners to make an agreement alone without any third-party involvement. Yet, different forms and papers remain the problem. Because of that, you should know which tools can make the entire process easier.
File Divorce Papers Online
Online technology made different aspects of our lives easier. Couples will have the chance to fill divorce papers online. There are many reasons why people should put this option into consideration. Before everything, it requires less money, and both partners will manage to avoid different legal fees. Despite that, the couple will complete the entire process quickly and easily with no additional effort. All the forms that you can find are accurate and up-to-date. In that way, you will avoid making any potential mistakes.
One more thing you should know is that getting legal advice will be necessary at some moment. Different tools of this type will ensure legal advice from your area whenever you need it. Finally, we need to highlight that is a good option for all home and abroad military members. All these reasons confirm that filing your divorce papers online is an option that deserves your attention.
Check if You Qualify
How is property divided in a divorce in Michigan?
When it comes to property division in Michigan, it needs to be equal and fair. The final Court decision is based on different things and varies from case to case. However, material things that can be divided include any property the spouses had before marriage and purchase during the marriage. All the gifts and inheritances will be in the process of division as well.
How much does a divorce cost in Michigan?
The answer to this question depends on different factors. People that decide on non-contested divorce will have to pay between $1200 and $1500. However, don’t forget that filing fees and certain legal documents will bring additional costs. On the other hand, a contested divorce can minimally cost you around 5000 dollars.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Michigan?
After filing the petition, you need to wait at least 60 days before the process of divorce starts. Once it starts, the period of ending the process varies from the cases. For instance, it can last from 90 days to even a year.
How can I get a copy of my divorce in Michigan?
You need to send the request to the court to get a copy of your divorce. Logically, the court primarily needs to finalize the entire process.
Do my spouse, and I need to live in Michigan to get a divorce?
Before filing a petition and starting the process of dissolving the marriage, one of the spouses must have lived in the state of Michigan for at least 180 days.
Can I still get a divorce if my spouse does not want to get one?
In cases where one of the spouses does not want the divorce, the procedure is different. However, there is a chance for spouses to solve this issue. The first option is to consult with a mediator or with a lawyer. They will help spouses to reach a fair agreement. Logically, the last option would be that the case ends up in Court. The Judge will make the final decision after hearing both parties.