Michigan is a No-Fault state when filing for divorce. This means that the only grounds that can be used in the divorce petition to receive a divorce are that the marriage is broken and that you and your spouse cannot get back together. It also means that if one party does not want the divorce they cannot block the divorce even if the petitioning party was at fault in causing the breakup of the marriage.

To get a divorce in Michigan the parties have to reside in the state of Michigan for at least 6 months. The petition can be filed in the county where either spouse lives, but the petitioning spouse must have resided in that county for 10 days. Michigan divorce law does not require that you be separated for a particular length of time before starting divorce proceedings. If there are no children in the marriage, your divorce will not be final until 60 days after filing. If there are children in the marriage, you must wait at least 6 months before the divorce becomes final. Outstanding issues involving custody support and property division may also delay the finality of the divorce.

Custody of children in Michigan divorces is determined by the best interest of the child standard. The court assumes that it is in the best interest of the child to maintain contact with both parents. Custody is usually given to the primary caregiver in cases involving young children; however, it is no longer true that the wife always gets custody of the children when they are older.

Michigan like every state in the union requires that both parents provide financial support for the child. The court attempts to maintain the standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage. This is based on the notion that the child is the innocent party during a divorce and should not suffer because the parents can no longer maintain their relationship. The amount is determined by a formula that calculates the earning potential of each spouse.

Michigan is an equitable division state in determining the division of the marital estate. At the time an action is filed the parties to the divorced are enjoined from disposing of any property without court consent until property division is decided. All property obtained during the marriage regardless of how it is titled is considered part of the marital estate. The judge divides the property in a way that is considered fair but not necessarily equal.


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