While the basic idea of a divorce doesn’t vary a great deal from one part of the country to another, the rules and requirements do. Michigan divorces, therefore, have a slightly different character from elsewhere in the country, making the procedure unique.

Are you going through a divorce in Michigan? Here’s what to expect.

You And Your Spouse Need To Have Lived In Michigan For Six Months Before Divorce

If you want to get a divorce in Michigan, both you and your partner need to have lived there for at least six months before filing.

The rules state that you must file your divorce case with a county circuit court. That court can either be in the county in which you live or the county in which your spouse lives. To file at a county circuit court, you must have lived at a permanent address in the county for at least ten days before filing, in addition to having been resident in Michigan for six months.


Michigan Permits No-Fault Divorce

In the past, you had to prove that your partner was at fault to get a divorce. Today, though, the law is different. You can apply for a no-fault divorce. This type of divorce is for situations in which neither party is to blame for the end of the marriage: it’s just no working out.

What’s interesting about no-fault divorces is that your spouse doesn’t have to agree to the separation: it’s a decision that you can make unilaterally, as and when you like. You do not have to be living separately to enact the divorce, and you can be the one who is at fault in the relationship and still file (for instance, if you’ve been unfaithful).


You Must Testify To Get A Divorce In Michigan

Despite the existence of no-fault divorces, the state of Michigan still requires that at least one spouse “testifies” in a legal sense relating to the end of the marriage.

You do not have to testify with your own words. Instead, you use a script provided by the court. The statement tells the court that there has been a severe and permanent breakdown in the marriage and that there is little to no chance that you and your spouse will be able to work things out.


A Spouse’s Behavior Can Affect The Outcome Of The Divorce

While you do not need to establish legal “fault” in a Michigan divorce, the judge may take into consideration the actions of either spouse when deciding on spousal support and dividing the property. Thus, from a financial perspective, the behavior of an individual can make a difference.


You May Have To Wait Six Months For A Divorce If You Have Children

Michigan rules state that you must wait six months or more for your divorce if you have children unless there are extenuating circumstances. Sometimes a judge may fast-track your case if you can prove that not providing a divorce might put your children at risk. You cannot, however, reduce the waiting period below 60 days.