Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Divorce
Divorce FAQ’s

How long till divorce is finalized?

Michigan law has a mandatory waiting period for divorce. This period starts from the date of filing through 60 days when no children are involved, and 180 days when children are involved.

What are the usual Michigan Divorce Attorney and Filing Fees?

The court filing fee is $150.00 and an additional $80.00 with children. Divorce Attorney fees average $200/hr. and up and some require a retainer (an upfront payment). The total cost of the divorce will be based on the difficulty of the case and how much time the divorce attorneys use on the case. Also included are any and all expenses incurred while working on the case.

What are grounds for divorce in Michigan?

The only grounds for divorce in the state of Michigan are a No Fault Divorce. The legal definition states a breakdown of the marriage has occurred with no reasonable chance of the preservation of that marriage. Although faults in the marriage cannot be used as grounds, it is considered in decisions of Spousal Support, Property Division and can be used in Child Custody. Divorces in Michigan will be granted even if the other spouse does not want a divorce.

What if married in another state but now reside in Michigan?

A person must have resided in the state of Michigan for 1 year prior to filing for a divorce in Michigan if the marriage occurred in another state.

Would a Legal Separation be better?

Michigan does not have a “Legal Separation” statute. Michigan has what is called a “Separation Maintenance” and the procedures are the same as a divorce. The spouses are divorced in everything in the marriage, but are still legally married.

Can an Annulment be obtained?

In Michigan, annulments can be given in cases involving: bigamy, a minor child, force or fraud, spouses too closely related, and in cases of physical or mental incapacitation.

Are there Alimony payments in Michigan?

Michigan does not use the term ‘Alimony’, instead it uses ‘Spousal Support’. Spousal Support is based on a criteria involving several factors. Michigan law does not guarantee Spousal Support and unless the parties agree the judge will decide if Spousal Support is necessary. Spousal Support can last indefinitely or for a set period of time.

How is property divided in Michigan?

Michigan law does not have an exact definition for Marital Property. However, the law uses 4 categories to stipulate what items are considered Marital Property, and if items do not fit into either of the categories they are considered Non-Marital Property. The court will use several factors to determine how the Marital Property is divided.

How is child support calculated?

Michigan uses The Michigan Child Support Formula Manual to determine the amount of support to be paid. This formula includes several factors to help determine amount.

Can Mediation or Arbitration be used?

Mediation can be an alternative to settling disputes before trial. If Mediation is not successful, the trial court will decide on disputes. Arbitration works like Mediation, however the arbitrator can become the judge if parties cannot agree. Arbitration is attractive because it can occur earlier than the trial.