How to Prevent a Divorce in Michigan
Michigan has enacted what is known as a no-fault divorce system. This enables residents of Michigan to obtain a divorce without establishing that the other party did something wrong. In other words, dissolution of the marriage past a reasonable point of reconciliation is sufficient grounds to provide for a divorce. Issues of ‘fault’ may, however, still enter into determination of division of the marital estate or in the event of a dispute over child custody. While this law has arguably simplified the divorce process and made such arguments more easily resolvable, there is also a sense in which additional regulation has made the process more complex. If you should find yourself in a divorce in the state of Michigan, it is important to keep the following in mind:
• In order to qualify for a divorce in the state of Michigan, the plaintiff must have been a resident of the state for at least 180 days, and have lived in the county where the divorce complaint is filed for at least ten days prior to the filing.
• Although this can change in certain circumstances, Michigan courts generally impose a sixty-day waiting period meant to allow the parties to think through their decision and come to a thorough understanding of its implications.
• Fault may come into play when dividing assets or assessing support. Generally, however, fault will not dramatically change the division of assets. Fault can include adultery, abuse, or other forms of misconduct or misbehavior which call into question the idea that the parties are equally situated.
• The court will consider a number of different factors when dividing the marital estate. These include the parties’ past relations and conduct, the length of the marriage, the source of the property, the needs of the parties, and their health and life status. In addition, general principles of equity and fairness can be applied, which allow the court to take into consideration other, unspecified, factors.
• In addition, the divorce process is subject to a number of different informal and unwritten ‘rules’ which are known by attorneys and judges. This means that it is in your best interest to retain a Michigan divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce if you have the means.
• Michigan law provides what is known as a ‘no-fault’ divorce system. This lets citizens get a divorce without needing to show that the other party did anything wrong. This means that ‘the marriage is no longer working’ is a sufficient justification for divorce. Fault may still play a role into division of the marital estate or child custody. While this system has arguably made divorces easier to come by, the additional regulation has also sometimes made the process more complex. It is important to keep the following in mind when getting a divorce in Michigan:
• Parties seeking divorce in Michigan must have been a resident of the state for at least 180 days, and have lived in the county where the divorce complaint is filed for at least ten days before filing it.
• Michigan courts generally impose a sixty-day waiting period. This is designed to allow parties to think through their decision before being forced to move forward. It also keeps the divorce process manageable.
• Fault can play a role in dividing assets or assessing support. Fault will not usually change the division of assets. Fault can include adultery, abuse, or anything else that the court thinks indicates that one party is more responsible for the divorce than the other.
• The court will consider a number of different factors when dividing the marital estate: past relations and conduct, length of marriage, age of parties, health and life status of parties, and origin of the marital estate.
• In addition, divorces are subject to the unwritten ‘rules’ of the courtroom. This means that parties are not as familiar with the law and its application as lawyers, and necessitates retaining a Michigan divorce lawyer if possible.