Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Michigan No Fault Divorce


According to Michigan no-fault divorce laws, you can get a divorce on the basis of “no-fault” grounds where it is not necessary for you to prove that your spouse has committed a “fault” or done a “wrong-doing”. A spouse can get a divorce if he/she states that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” owing to “incompatibility of temperament” or “irreconcilable dereferences” in the state of Michigan.

Choosing between “no-fault” or "fault” grounds

The choice of filing the case of divorce on "fault grounds” or “no-fault” grounds lie with the spouse filing the case. Generally, people prefer filing a no-fault divorce because it is less antagonizing, even if there was substantial “wrongdoing” on the part of the other spouse. But you may like to file the divorce on “fault grounds” if you are sure to have an edge over the other spouse over matters regarding child custody, property division etc. It is also observed that courts now consider most of the divorce cases as “no-fault” ones but determines child custody or property division on the basis of “fault” or “wrong doings” of a spouse.

Residential requirements in no-fault divorce in Michigan

In order to get a divorce in the state of Michigan, at least one spouse must be a resident of that state for the last 180 days prior to the date of filing the divorce case. He/she must be residing in the county for the last 10 days of filing in that county’s court. If the other spouse is not residing in the state of Michigan, then the court order regarding no-fault divorce could be settled, but custody issues or property division would not be dealt upon by the court. If the spouse living in another state permits Michigan courts to decide on custody matters or property division, only a verdict regarding them can be passed.

Waiting period in MI no-fault divorce

In Michigan no-fault divorce cases, when a petition for divorce is filed, then the court hearing would be of sixty days also called as “cooling period”. In very special cases, this cooling period may be waived off. It is important to note that this cooling period is longer in child custody contests.

Property division in MI no-fault divorce

Michigan is an equitable property division state where the martial property is fairly and equitably divided among the spouses. In most of no-fault divorce cases, spouses try to settle the matter of property division “outside the court”. This is to avoid unnecessary time wastage and also to save money. However, if the spouses are not able to settle the matter of property division, then the courts would look into the matter. While deciding which party must get how much, it is often the “marital property” (property acquired during the course of marriage) that is divided and the property that a spouse had gotten before the marriage is not touched. However, if the financial requirements of a particular spouse are more, then courts may invade the “separate property” also.

Child custody in MI no-fault divorce

As was mentioned earlier, child custody and child support matters are often settled by the spouses “outside the court” in no-fault divorce cases. They may participate in custody mediation to formulate a sound parenting plan or visitation schedules. Along with the petition of divorce, spouses also provide this custody plan. Courts look into this agreement and determine the soundness of it. The divorce decree is then signed. But in cases, where there is a dispute between the divorcing partners regarding child custody, then courts intervene. Custody is awarded keeping in mind the best interests of the child, his/her safety and welfare.

If the no-fault divorce is uncontested, then one can proceed with a do-it-yourself divorce. But remember to be fully aware of the legalities in divorce laws. On the other hand, if there is any dispute in the divorce case, it is advisable to seek the advises of the attorney who can help you come out of the proceedings.


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