Your Michigan

Divorce Guide

For many, this is a new place and so a visitors guide can be helpful. We use the word visitor as we hope your time here is brief and pleasant in all places possible. In pure Michigan this is what you can expect.
Your Road Map

The Michigan Divorce Process


Identify Eligibility for Divorce

You or your spouse must make a case that there has been a breakdown in the marriage and it cannot be preserved.

File and Answer Complaint

The summons and complaint must be served to your spouse. He or she has 21 days in-state or 28 days out-of-state to answer the legal notice.

Temporary Orders

Under special circumstances and pending how amicable the separation is there may be grounds to file motions in court.

Time for Discovery

Collect all the information you can prior to this step, but this is the time to also get in order any requests for documents that you will need for dividing assets.

Initial Negotiations

You and your spouse will work together or through your representation to decide the inititial terms for custody, child support, alimony and asset division.

Mandatory Mediation

The Friend of the Court (FOC) assists the court with custody, parenting time, and child support issues. Among other things, the FOC: Investigates and makes recommendations about custody, parenting time, child support, and medical support. Helping parents settle disputes during and after their case.

Court Date

You and your spouse will schedule a final date to either review your divorce decree or to make your cases for judgement over any outstanding disputes.

Settlement Conference

This is another vehicle for spouses to work with their lawyers to resolve issues surrounding custody, visitation, property division, child support, alimony and other terms.

Final Judgement is Issued & Recorded

The divorce decree, final agreement is reviewed by the court or any unresolved issues are given judgement to be made final. This recorded document will be filed for enforcement.

Your First Steps Guide

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Michigan Courts FAQ

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