Requirements for divorce filings in Michigan

| Mar 11, 2021 | Divorce |

When filing for divorce in Michigan State, there are particular issues a filer needs to consider. Two of those are the issue of residency and the grounds for divorce.

Under Michigan state law, a complaint for divorce may be filed with the circuit court. The grounds or reason for the divorce should be stated in the initial complaint filing. The initial filing should say something to the effect that there has been a breakdown in the marriage to the point where the relationship has become unsalvageable.

The reason for divorce must be vague

The initial complaint cannot elaborate further on the grounds for divorce. State law is specific; it must be filed this way. In the defendant’s answer to the complaint for divorce, the defendant must also refrain from elaborating on the situation. They are allowed only to admit to the allegations or deny them.

Residency requirements

The state of Michigan requires residency of at least 180 days within the state, prior to the filing of the first complaint. Either the complainant or the defendant can meet this requirement.

One of the two must also have resided in the county in which the divorce was filed for at least 10 days before the first filing. There are exceptions to the 10 day rule, however.

A person may file for divorce in any Michigan County without meeting the 10 day rule if:

  • Defendant was born in or a citizen of another country
  • They have minor children
  • The minor children are at risk of being taken out of the country by the defendant

A complicated process

Divorce can be a complicated process with several requirements a filer has to be aware of. This is made all the more difficult by the statutory language filings have to be written in. The language and vocabulary is troublesome for those without a legal background to interpret. Filing for divorce or responding to a divorce complaint is much easier when an attorney is available to explain the legal requirements published in state law.