How Long Does it Take?

A divorce without children in Michigan has a minimum waiting period of 2 months. If you and your spouse can agree on a division of marital property you could be divorced as early as 60 days after filing the divorce complaint. When there are children under age 18, the minimum waiting period is 6 months. If you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody, child support, and parenting time, the case could take much longer to finalize. A divorce judgment cannot be entered until all issues of marital property and child custody, support, and parenting time have been resolved.

Who Can File for Divorce in Michigan?

Michigan law requires that you or your spouse have lived within the state for 6 months prior to filing for divorce, and in the county where you file for the preceding 10 days.

Who Decides How to Divide Marital Property and Child Custody Issues?

All the divorce judges prefer that you and your spouse discuss marital property and child custody issues and try to resolve them between yourselves. Oftentimes this can be accomplished without the need for a formal trial. However, if you and your spouse cannot reach agreement, then your case would likely be referred to a skilled, trained divorce mediator who will help guide the parties to settlement. If not, then the case would go to trial where a family court judge would hear the evidence and testimony and render a decision.

Can I File My Own Divorce Case?

There are many self-help websites and legal assistance centers who can provide the forms necessary to file for a divorce. However, we do not recommend going this route unless your case is one where there is no marital property and no minor children. Giving someone blank divorce forms is much like giving car keys to someone who has never driven and expecting them to drive. There are many nuances and things that can be done wrong in a divorce case. Often, years later we are asked to help correct a mistake in a self-filed divorce case. It almost always costs more to fix the mistake than it would have to have had a family law lawyer handle the case from the beginning.

Steps for Divorce in Michigan.

Hiring an experienced and trusted divorce lawyer can give you peace of mind that your case will be handled correctly the first time and that you will get your fair share. Come talk with us about the divorce process and how we can help you.

Call (616) 676-8770 to schedule a time to come and meet with a Grand Rapids divorce lawyer. We can explain your rights and the divorce process.