The divorce attorneys at Collis & Griffor, PC, understand how to navigate the unique nuances of Michigan divorce law inside-and-out — and we can help you do the same.
Whether you are initiating the divorce, have been served divorce papers or are in agreement with your spouse that a divorce is in order, you can rely on our 30 years of experience to get you through this difficult time.
Michigan Divorce — Did You Realize?
Some of the unique aspects of Michigan divorce law you should be aware of include the following:
- In Michigan, fault is not required for a divorce. However, fault can be used to affect property division or spousal support (alimony).
- No divorce can be completed in less than 60 days and if there are minor children, there is a 6 month waiting period (which can be shortened in certain circumstances to 60 days) after the divorce case is filed.
- In every divorce, property, retirement assets, and debts must be separated.
- Where there are children, the issues of physical custody (where the children live), legal custody (ability to access medical records participate in the child's education and help in religious upbringing), parenting time and child support must be determined.
- In longer term marriages or marriages with disparate incomes, spousal support may an issue.
- After a divorce with minor children, the issues of child support, parenting time and custody remain at issue.
- Property settlements may not be modified barring a fraud by one party.
- Regardless of your personal situation, having experienced counsel at your side, in such a trying personal time, is important.
Steps In A Typical Divorce Case
All divorce matters in Michigan go through a number of steps. While each case is unique, most of these steps are present in each divorce filed. This is an overview, and is no substitute for talking to a knowledgeable professional at our office about how we can help you and your family with your specific case.
- Summons. This is a one page document issued by the court which notifies the other spouse that a divorce action has been filed. The spouse served typically has 21 days to respond to the summons, and if they do not then a default may be entered against them.
- Complaint. The complaint is the actual document which is filed to begin the process. It includes the names of the spouses and other information about the marriage, such as whether there are minor children, and how long the marriage has been. It also states that the party has lived in Michigan for 180 days and in the county where the divorce is filed for at least 10 days.
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) affidavit. This document explains where the children have lived over the previous five years and certifies that there is no other custody action involving the children. This is important as Michigan only has jurisdiction over children who have lived in Michigan for the last six months, although there are some exceptions to this rule.
- Verified financial statement. This document is given to the court and other party in order to aid in the understanding of each party's financial situation and to highlight any assets, debts or other concerns, such as medical needs or costs for the minor children. This may also be used to aid in the establishment of temporary child support.
- Verified statement to the friend of the court. This document gives the friend of the court the names, addresses, social security numbers, etc., of the parties involved. If the parties elect to opt-out of the friend of the court, then this is not required.
- Ex parte orders. Motions to maintain the status quo are sometimes filed to make sure that the children's home is not changed prior to entry of a temporary order. These motions must be verified by oath or affidavit, meaning they must be signed by the parties and often notarized. A temporary injunction or order, may be issued restraining a party from selling, disposing or dissipating assets as well.
If you are looking for a divorce attorney, call Collis & Griffor, PC, today at 734-827-1337 or contact us online to set up an appointment for a free consultation.