Are you planning a divorce in Michigan with no minor child or children? In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about this process and what you should expect. That way, you can guarantee that there are no surprises down the road.
What Do You Need?
To get a Michigan divorce you or your partner need to have lived in Michigan for at least six months before you choose to file. You need to file in the county where you or your spouse lived for a minimum of ten days. While most people file in the county where they live it is possible to file where your spouse lives.
A key fact to remember is that Michigan is a ‘no-fault’ state. This means that you don’t need to prove a reason why you want a divorce. You don’t have to show your spouse was cheating, has been cruel or abandoned you. Your spouse also doesn’t need to agree with the divorce. You can even arrange a Michigan divorce if you did something which caused the marriage to come to an end. You also don’t need to be legally separated.
Instead, to get a Michigan divorce without minor children, you just need to state that the marriage has broken down to the point where the matrimony has been destroyed and the marriage can not be preserved. It basically means that it is highly unlikely you will be able to work things out with your partner.
Fault can be considered by a judge for issues such as property division and spousal support however it is not necessary for the divorce to proceed.
What Is Decided During The Divorce?
There are various things that will be decided during your divorce. When you get a divorce, the judge will end the marriage and this does include all the legal benefits that you were entitled to.
Debt and Property
It’s important to be aware that both debt and property that was accumulated during the marriage tends to be considered marital property. This can include everything from insurance to real estate and investment accounts. There are various types of property that may be relevant here.
It’s possible that you can not agree with your partner on how these types of properties should be divided. If that’s the case, then the judge will make these decisions for you. It’s worth noting that properties need to be divided fairly according to state law.
What does this mean? Well, it will be based on a variety of factors. This includes the ability you have to earn money, your living situation, and the living standard held through the marriage. Other personal details include health and age as well as the contributions each spouse made to the estate. As mentioned, fault can also be relevant here and may be considered.
If you owned property before the marriage or your partner did, you will usually keep what you previously owned. In certain cases a judge may decide it is fair for your spouse to receive part of property previously owned by you however, this is quite rare.
Alimony is the support that can be provided to a spouse. Either you or your partner can ask for this type of support. However, there’s no guarantee that either of you will receive it. This will be determined by the judge if you can not reach an agreement with your partner and is not always awarded. It can also either be permanent or temporary.
Again, there are a wide variety of factors that come into play here including an ability to work, fault, the length of the marriage, your health and your financial status. Fairness is also considered to ensure that each spouse essentially gets what they deserve or are rightfully owed in terms of support.
How Long Will A Divorce Without A Minor Child Take?
There will be a sixty-day waiting period for your divorce if you have no child that was born through the marriage and you aren’t expecting. However, if there was a child born or you are expecting there’s a 180 day waiting period. This begins as soon as you file for a divorce. If you have children, the waiting period can be waived or shortened. Be aware that the waiting period is the minimum time that your divorce will take. It’s likely and indeed common that it will take longer because you will disagree with your spouse on certain items.
The Divorce Process
The divorce will be set in motion when you or your spouse files a complaint or summons. When these forms have been filed with the court clerk’s office, they must then be given to your spouse. Usually, a third party will deliver the papers or send them. It’s best to register the papers when sending to ensure you have proof that they were received. Otherwise, the situation can get quite complicated.
The next stage is the answer to the divorce complaint. A spouse may file an answer and they could respond to every paragraph of the complaint. This will tell you what parts they agree and disagree with. It gives a strong idea of how amicable a divorce proceeding will be. Usually, if they don’t agree with all or any of the paragraphs, it is advisable to contact a lawyer. It’s worth noting that an agreement here doesn’t automatically mean that a judge will approve it.
You could be provided with a mediator to help you and your spouse proceed with the divorce and reach decisions together. They can also offer recommendations to the court and will do so in particular circumstances. For instance, they will typically make a recommendation if you are afraid of your spouse or your spouse is afraid to meet with you.
There are several stages to proceed through after this including a potential dismissal and finalization. Once you have proceeded through these stages you will receive a judgment of divorce. This will legally end your relationship and provide details on how property will be divided.