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Online Divorce in Michigan

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Online Divorce in Michigan

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Michigan divorce details

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Uncontested vs Contested Divorce in Michigan

In an uncontested divorce, you do not need to prove your spouse’s guilt or argue with them as you both mutually want to terminate the marriage. On the other hand, a contested case is much more complicated.

The court will approve such a divorce, but only after negotiating on certain issues such as:

  • Spousal alimony - regular or one-time payment with the purpose to support another spouse financially after the divorce.
  • Child custody - both parents should have equal rights to child support after the divorce. The court stipulates the possibility of equal caring. If it is impossible due to several reasons, the court will make a decision by taking into consideration different factors.
  • Property division - couples should report on all common property. Marital property is divided fairly while separate property is considered more carefully.During the Contested Divorce process, the spouses should take an attorney to regulate the questionable issues of the divorce. The mediation is also required.

During a contested case, the spouses should hire an attorney to help regulate the questionable issues of the divorce. Mediation is also required.

There are few major disadvantages of a contested divorce:

  1. Can be quite expensive. It is considered to cost higher than uncontested divorces because of additional services such as attorneys. The average cost varies from $1,000 - $2,000 depending on the county.
  2. Can take quite long. Due to several court hearings, mediation periods, and prolonged waiting times, the process takes longer than an Uncontested one.

Uncontested Divorce in Michigan

An uncontested divorce is a type of marriage termination where the spouses mutually agree to end their marriage. In Michigan, it is the most popular type of divorce as it is the most convenient. It requires that both spouses agree on all the issues and they must file all the necessary documents to get the Final Decree.

Grounds for the Uncontested Divorce in Michigan

  • Imprisonment of over 2 years of one of the spouses
  • Alcoholism and/or drug addiction
  • Incurable insanity
  • Mental illness
  • Cruel treatment towards one of the spouses
  • Incest
  • Adultery

The court observes all these grounds and makes the most appropriate verdict depending on the individual ase. However, both spouses do not need to prove their innocence in the case of an uncontested divorce.

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Residency Requirements to file for the divorce in Michigan

To begin the divorce process, you should make sure that the Judicial Circuit Court involves your individual case in its jurisdictions. You cannot file for divorce if you have lived in Michigan for less than six months. If either you or your spouse is not a resident of Michigan, you must write a Petition to the Court to ask for permission for the divorce procedure. The Petitioner can legally file for divorce if they have already lived in MIchigan for no less than 180 days. After the Petition is signed, the other spouse should answer it within 10 days. The divorce procedure is filed within the particular county where both spouses currently live (Michigan Compiled Laws - Section: 552.9).

There are several other requirements that must be met in order to file for divorce in Michigan:

  • The Defendant should be a citizen of the particular county in Michigan
  • The children should also be residents of the Michigan state or be born in Michigan

Although the residency requirements are quite strict in Michigan, they must be met in order to file for divorce.

How to file for an Uncontested Divorce in Michigan?

After the Petitioner pays the filing fee, they must introduce the Petition regarding the marriage termination to the Circuit Court. They must also attach other significant documents such as the Summons and 3 copies of the Petition. The Petitioner must then serve their spouse with all the paperwork. The Defendant has 21 days to answer or the court considers them to not agree with the Petition. After the Petition is granted, the couple must file all other necessary forms regarding their divorce with the court. After a certain waiting period, the couples attend the Final Hearing. The steps of the divorce process is quite standard, but it is important to pay attention as the steps may vary depending on the case.

DIY Divorce in Michigan

Do-It-Yourself divorce is a process where you complete all the steps of the divorce process without the help of an attorney. Such a divorce can help you save a lot of time and money if you are absolutely sure of the process. However, it can be risky because it can be quite tricky to complete all the documents accurately and correctly without any mistakes. If the documents are filed incorrectly, the court will not approve them. To avoid such an outcome, you can request the help of an online document preparation service. Such online service can help you prepare all the required paperwork accurately and on time without any additional fees.

How much does an Uncontested Divorce cost in Michigan?

In Michigan, the average cost of divorce ranges between $12,000 - $13,000. This includes the cost to hire an attorney which starts at an hourly rate of $500. You can save a lot of money if you get your documents prepared online and be guaranteed that they are approved by the court. As Michigan is a purely no-fault state, additional costs for divorce may include:

  • Child custody
  • Spousal support
  • Division of property

The total cost may vary depending on the individual case, so it is important to estimate the approximate cost and be prepared in advance.

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Michigan?

According to Michigan legislation, an uncontested divorce can take up to 6 months. However, this is relatively fast considering a contested can last up to 1 - 2 years. If all the residency requirements are met and there aren’t many issues to be resolved, the divorce process can be quite fast.

How to serve your spouse in Michigan

It is highly essential that your serve your spouse with copies of all the divorce paperwork. It is important to take into account the following when serving your spouse:

  • You must serve your spouse with every single document for the court hearing
  • You must serve your spouse with all the documents within 91 days of the date you file the Petition
  • You must have the written allowance from your spouse to serve the forms for the divorce by yourself

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Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Michigan

Below is a basic list of the necessary forms you need to file for divorce in Michigan. Not all of them are required as it depends on the individual case.

Here are the most used forms:

  • Summons and Complaint [MC-01 (3/06)]
  • Complaint about Divorce
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Judgment or Divorce
  • Default Request, Affidavit, Entry and Judgment [MC-07A (5/07)]
  • Answer and Waiver
  • Request for Certificate of Military Service Status
  • Notice of Hearing [FOC-7 (10/04)]
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit [MC-416 (5/07)]
  • Verified Statement and Application for IV-D Services [FOC-23 (9/06)]
  • Motion and Verification for Alternative Service [MC-303 (3/06)]
  • Order for Alternative Service [MC-304 (3/06)]
  • Order for Service by Publication/Posting and Notice of Action [MC-307 (8/88)]
  • Notice of Taking Records Deposition
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Judgment or Divorce
  • Notice of Hearing [FOC-7 (10/04)]
  • Answer and Waiver
  • Default Request, Affidavit, Entry and Judgment [MC-07A (5/07)]
  • Request for Certificate of Military Service Status
  • Notice of Hearing [FOC-7 (10/04)]
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit [MC-416 (5/07)]
  • Verified Statement and Application for IV-D Services [FOC-23 (9/06)]
  • Motion and Verification for Alternative Service [MC-303 (3/06)]
  • Order for Alternative Service [MC-304 (3/06)]
  • Order for Service by Publication/Posting and Notice of Action [MC-307 (8/88)]
  • Notice of Taking Records Deposition

It is important to note that the documents cannot be sent to the courts online; you must file them physically.

Online Divorce in Michigan

Online divorce refers to the process of preparing all the necessary documents accurately through an online service. You just need to order the papers, pay the filing fee, print out the documents, and file them at court. Such a process can help you save a lot of money as compared to getting the documents completed with the help of an attorney. For just $149, you can rest assured that the documents are prepared accurately and on time to be approved by the court.

Rules for child support in Michigan

In Michigan, the issues of child custody are handled by the Child Support Services; it is within the Department of Human Services. Both parents have equal rights and responsibilities to support their children. If you need to increase the amount of child support, you may ask your spouse for the income modification and make a Petition for the request.

The Friend of the Court (a legal body) accepts the child custody orders every 36 months (you need to check the frequency of this procedure depending on your order).

Custodial and non-custodial parents are determined depending on certain factors:

  • Income of both spouses
  • Credit Bureau reports regarding both spouses
  • Tax rate of both spouses
  • Health state of both spouses
  • Future financial outlook of both spouses.

The visitation of the children is also stipulated by the court. In different cases, the visitation of one of the spouses is limited according to different counties/situations.

Rules for spousal support in Michigan

In Michigan, both spouses can request spousal support (alimony). The court takes into consideration certain factors when making the decision:

  • Health state of both spouses
  • Tax rate of the spouses
  • Income of both spouses
  • Living conditions of the spouses
  • Future financial outlook of both spouses

After examining all these, the court makes the decision regarding the amount and period of spousal support that is rewarded.

Division of property in Michigan

In general, common property is distinguished between marital and separate ones. Marital property refers to property that was acquired during the legal marriage, so it is subject to division. Separate property refers to any private property that was acquired before or during the legal marriage. For example, inherited property of one of the spouses is considered as separate and is subject to division. The court makes a decision regarding the division by taking into consideration factors such as:

  • The term of the marriage
  • Each spouses’ rates in the common property
  • Each spouses’ health state
  • Age of each spouse
  • Each spouses’ financial situations
  • Future financial outlook of both spouses

The issue of property division can be difficult. The more evidence you provide the court, the easier and more fair the division will be.

Divorce Mediation in Michigan

Mediation is a process where the spouses negotiate and come to terms regarding the divorce with the help of a third party. In most cases, when spouses fail to find common ground for an amicable marriage termination, they need to request the help of mediation. The process involves an initial hearing where the spouses can negotiate the issues of divorce. More hearings may be scheduled if the spouses fail to come to a resolution. In Michigan, the court requires couples who are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce to attend mediation.

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How to divorce a missing spouse in Michigan

In order to divorce a missing spouse, you must first attempt to locate them. You can ask their friends and relatives for their possible whereabouts or request the help of the local police. If your attempts are unsuccessful and you are able to provide proof of it to the court, you will be granted the right to publish a notice in the local newspaper regarding your missing spouse. Such a process may be more complicated than the standard procedure, but you can still get a divorce even without your spouse. If you have such a situation, you may need to have a consultation in advance.

Default Divorce in Michigan

If one of the spouses fails to take part in the divorce process or rejects the divorce in general, a default divorce may be granted. In Michigan, you can proceed with the divorce procedure even without the agreement of your spouse. You must file with the court all the necessary documents and request for the allowance. There are several grounds for a default divorce:

  • Extraordinary violence or cruelty
  • Deceitful contract
  • Absence of non-negotiable duties
  • Excessive drinking
  • Imprisonment of one of the spouses in a state or federal correctional institution at the time of filing the Petition
  • Cultural/Religious/Health issues

The court takes into consideration these and several other grounds before stipulating the final hearing according to the legislation.

In Michigan, a waiting period before the court hearing usually completes the divorce itself. If you have any minor children, the waiting period is at least six months. If you do not have any children, it can be reduced to two months. The Final Decree is granted after this waiting period during the Final Judgement.

Default vs No-Fault Divorce in Michigan

As we have already discussed, a No-Fault divorce is much easier and less time-consuming. A default divorce can involve certain complications and as a result, last much longer. Furthermore, a No-Fault divorce also costs significantly less than a default one.

How can I get a Default Divorce Hearing in Michigan?

All Michigan divorce proceedings take place in the county Circuit Courts. The Petitioner must first file all the paperwork with the court in the county that they currently live. If the spouses currently do not live in the same state, they must apply at the court in the state they got married. The Petitioner must then serve the Defendant with at least three copies of all the divorce paperwork. The documents will be examined by The Family Court and other legal bodies including the Friend of the court. After all the papers are prepared, the court approves or rejects them. Finally, there is a waiting period and the date of the first hearing is appointed. As we have already discussed, the average time for the divorce process in Michigan is 180 days, depending on the county.

Annulment of the marriage in Michigan

Annulment is a process that recognizes a legal marriage as void, or as it never existed. There are several grounds for annulment of marriage in Michigan:

  • The marriage was a result of a fraud
  • One of the spouses was under the age of 18 at the time of marriage registration
  • One of the spouses is seriously ill
  • The marriage was completed through force or coercion

These and several others can be valid grounds for the court to proclaim the annulment of marriage.

Legal Separation in Michigan

Legal separation is noted as separate maintenance in the State of Michigan. The legal orders and requirements are almost the same as for a regular divorce procedure. The grounds also follow the same grounds as for the divorce process. The main characteristic of legal separation is that both spouses live separately but are considered to still be legally married. They are not allowed to remarry or cohabitate until they official terminate their marriage according to the legislation.

Same-Sex Divorce in Michigan

Same-sex marriage and divorce were recognized in Michigan in 2015. The divorce procedure for same-sex couples are the same as for standard divorce procedures. They must negotiate the same issues regarding child custody, spousal support, and property division.

Military Divorce in Michigan

Military divorce is very similar to a regular, standard divorce process. You must announce the divorce proceeding to your spouse either through email or post. If the service area of your military spouse is within Michigan, you may also personally deliver the necessary documents. You can also request the help of the military commander in charge of your spouse to serve them with the forms.

How to divorce a spouse in a jail in Michigan

To divorce a spouse currently in jail, you must serve them with all the necessary paperwork either through the post or personally. The other steps of the process are the exact same as any other standard divorce procedure.

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Divorce filing fee

Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

Can a fee be waived?

The filing fee may be waived in Michigan if you are unable to prove to the court of your financial inability to pay for it. You must complete an Affidavit and provide proof of your income or any other documentation of your financial situation. The court examines the case to determine whether to approve or deny your request.

How we can help

We understand that the divorce process can be quite difficult and stressful. That is why our services are aimed at helping you get through the process as quickly and easy as possible. We prepare all the required paperwork that need to be filed with the court accurately and on time. You can rest assured that your documents are approved by the court.

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