Divorce and Separation
Family Law Topics
A Divorce is one of two ways a married couple can legally separate in the State of Michigan. In order to file for divorce in Michigan, a person has to have lived in the state for at least six (6) months and in the County they intend to file in for at least ten (10) days.
For couples with minor children, a divorce takes a minimum of six (6) months. For couples without minor children, a divorce takes a minimum of sixty (60) days.
It's important to remember that each divorce case is different, just as every family is different. Below is a general outline of the divorce process.
Your divorce attorney will work with you to file a Complaint for Divorce along with any temporary motions that may be needed for temporary support, custody, parenting time or to protect property or assets.
It is sometimes necessary to appear at a temporary motion hearing with your attorney to determine parenting time, support or temporary property issues and who is responsible for what while your case is pending.
Next, the parties will appear at a pretrial conference. This conference will list the issues your case has to the Court and will also assign a mediator to your case.
The parties will attend mediation with their attorneys and a mediator, who is a neutral third party. The mediator will work with the parties and their attorneys to reach a mutual agreement to settle the case.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement at mediation, the case will then move forward to a final settlement conference and finally, a divorce trial, where a Judge will decide any issues you have been unable to work out between yourselves or with the mediator.
In Michigan, a legal separation is known as "separate maintenance". This is the second way for couples to legally separate in the State of Michigan. This is not common as this form of separation follows the same process as divorce outlined above, but at the end of the case, you receive a "Judgment of Separate Maintenance" instead of a "Judgment of Divorce." A person is not free to remarry if they receive this type of Judgment and if they want to be divorced in the future, they will need to file a new case for Divorce and follow the same process all over again. This is not too common, but some people do this for religious or economic reasons.
Talk to one of our experienced attorneys confidentially today to discuss your case with no obligation. 269-381-4471