Every state in the U.S. has laws governing divorce that residents must adhere to if they decide they want to end their marriage. In the state of Michigan, there are certain requirements that must be met if a couple wants to successfully file for divorce. If you or your spouse are considering ending your marriage or you both have come to a mutual agreement that it is time you go your separate ways, here are some of the requirements stipulated under Michigan law that must be met.
- Unlike other states that require you to have a reason for filing for divorce, Michigan doesn’t as it is a no-fault divorce state.
This means you are only required to acknowledge that “there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved” [Source: Michigan Revised Statutes Chapter 552 §552.6].
- You must file the appropriate forms.
Because the circumstances surrounding your divorce may differ from others, you will want to contact the Kent County Clerk of the Court at (616) 632-5480 to find out which forms you need to fill out. if you are filing for divorce in a county other than Kent County, be sure to contact their Clerk of the Court so that they can inform you on what forms you will need to submit in order to initiate the divorce process.
- You must meet the residency requirement.
In order for a judgment of divorce to be granted by a court in the state of Michigan, the individual filing the complaint, or the other party must have resided in the state for “180 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint” and either party has “resided in the county in which the complaint is filed for 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.” Michigan Revised Statute Chapter 552 §552.9 states that an individual who wishes to file a complaint for divorce in any county located within the state of Michigan without meeting the 10-day requirement stated above can do so as long as all of the following apply:
- The defendant, which is the other party, not the person filing the complaint, “was born in, or is a citizen of, a country other than the United States of America.”
- The parties involved in the divorce have a minor child or children together.
- It is known “that the minor child or children are at risk of being taken out of the U.S. and retained in another country by the defendant.”
- You must meet the decree of divorce conditions.
Michigan Revised Statute Chapter 552 § 552.9 also states that no decree of divorce, which is the document you receive at the end of your divorce, shall be granted unless one of the following facts is true:
- The defendant is a resident of the state of MI at the time the complaint for divorce is filed.
- The defendant was a resident in MI when the divorce complaint was filed.
- The defendant was personally served with a complaint notice within the state or if served outside this state, “proof of such service shall be made by the affidavit of the person who shall serve the same, made before a notary public, and when such affidavit shall be made outside this state it shall have attached the certificate of the clerk of a court of record, certifying to the official character of the notary and the genuineness of his or her signature to the jurat of the affidavit.”
- You must pay the filing fees associated with the type of divorce you are seeking.
For example, the Kent County Clerk of the Court states that you are subjected to paying $150 when filing a new case, however, this doesn’t include additional court costs depending on your circumstances or the amount you will have to pay for a reputable divorce lawyer. It is essential that you retain a Grand Rapids, MI divorce attorney prior to filing so that they are able to provide you with all the information you need and are available to guide you through the entire process.
If you would like to speak with an attorney who focuses on divorce cases in Grand Rapids, MI today, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. When consulting with one of these experienced lawyers at this firm, not only will you become more informed on all aspects associated with the divorce process, but you will feel more prepared and understand the obligations you must meet in order to file for divorce.
You can reach Gordon & Hess, PLC at:
146 Monroe Center Street NW, #1225
Grand Rapids, MI 49503