Michigan “No Fault” Divorce Law Explained – Affordable Lawyers
Many people misunderstand the term No Fault Divorce. A lot of people think “no fault” divorce refers to a divorce where the parties do not fight – or do not “contest” – the divorce. However, “No Fault Divorce” simply means that (under Michigan Law) if one party wants a divorce it will be granted – and no one is required to prove that the other party is “at fault” for the breakdown of the marriage.
In other words, in Michigan, all divorces are considered “No Fault” divorce. And a divorce will be granted even if one of the parties does not want the divorce. It used to be that a person had to show “fault” leading to the breakdown of the marriage in order to be granted a divorce. But these laws were changed so that any divorce in Michigan is a “no fault” divorce.
A divorce situation where one spouse files for divorce and the other spouse does not contest (or “fight”) the divorce, is called an “Uncontested Divorce”.
The person who files the divorce action is called the plaintiff, and their spouse is called the defendant. In Michigan, the family division of the County Circuit Court where at least one of the spouses lives handles the divorce case.
Michigan Divorce Residency Requirements – Macomb County Divorce Lawyer
If you want to file for a divorce in Michigan:
- At least one of the parties must have lived in Michigan for at least 180 days; and,
- At least one of the parties must have lived in the County where the case is filed for at least 10 days before filing.
- Also, The Uniform Child Custody & Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA) generally requires that the minor child(ren) must have resided in Michigan for at least six months before you can file an action regarding the minor child(ren) here. (Call us for some exceptions to this rule.)
How Long Before a Michigan Divorce Is Final (Divorce Waiting Period) – Lawyer
If there are no children under the age of 18, the soonest a divorce can be granted is 60 days from the date of filing the divorce papers.
If there are minor children under the age of 18, the soonest a divorce can be granted is 6 months from the date of filing the divorce papers.
Divorces, however, almost always take longer than the minimum waiting period. This is because it is very rare that both spouses agree on everything – such as custody, child support, visitation and/or the division of property. The longer it takes the parties to reach an agreement, the longer the divorce will take.
If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the divorce then goes to a “trial” in front of a judge. This will delay the process even longer because the lawyers have to prepare evidence for the trial, and the parties have to wait for a court date.