Couples who are looking to divorce in Michigan do not have to be separated for a certain period of time before they can file. In fact, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, making it easier for an individual to file for divorce. In a no-fault divorce state, a party doesn’t have to show that their spouse did something to cause a disruption in their relationship but can actually cite a breakdown of the marriage as their ground for filing.1

While there is no requirement that must be met in regard to a couple being separated before they file for divorce in Michigan, there is another individuals who are seeking a divorce need to be aware of which is discussed down below.


Residency Requirements


The State of Michigan requires that at least one party involved in a marriage resided in the state for at least six months prior to filing. In addition, one party must also have resided in the county where the filing occurred “for 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.” 2  Michigan Revised Statute § 552.9 says that the court will exempt a person from the 10-day requirement if all of the following apply and is stipulated in their complaint:

  • The other party was either born in another country or is a citizen of another county outside of the U.S.
  • There are minor children involved.
  • Information can be provided that show the child or children [involved] are at risk of being taken out of the U.S. and retained in another country by the defendant.”


Is it necessary to hire an attorney when filing for divorce in Michigan?


While it isn’t required of an individual to hire a Michigan divorce lawyer, it can help a person who is filing feel more prepared and ready to take on their case. A divorce attorney can also help someone who has been served divorce papers.

There are many benefits to hiring a Michigan divorce attorney, some of which are outlined below:

  1. They can help parties who have been served divorce papers respond within the set deadline.
  2. They can help get certain issues settled between the parties involved including, but not limited to, child support, child custody, and alimony.
  3. They will help an individual understand their rights. If they are entitled to alimony, a divorce lawyer will help them fight for it.
  4. Be there to support their client in court and address any questions and concerns they might have.


If an individual is looking to file for divorce in Michigan or was recently served divorce papers, they can contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. for legal help. Individuals who would like a free consultation to determine if they should hire a Michigan divorce attorney are encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C at 517-487-6603.


The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:



1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906

Phone: 517-487-6603




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