Deciding that it is time you and your spouse get a divorce is one difficult decision many often put off making for months and even years. But, if you have gotten this far and you and your husband or wife have agreed it is time to separate, you may not have several questions running through your mind that are in need of being answered. The truth is, a couple who is looking to divorce cannot just file paperwork and be on their way, rather, there are certain requirements that must be met and processes that must be followed in order for a Michigan divorce to be finalized.

So, to help you better understand the divorce process and what it entails, we are addressing the top 5 questions many Michigan residents just like you have so that you can feel a little more at ease.

  1. What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?

A contested divorce is when one party or both are not in agreement on one or more aspects regarding the divorce. For example, if one party doesn’t want to go through with the divorce or isn’t willing to agree to a child custody arrangement, the divorce would be contested and could take longer to finalize. On the other hand, an uncontested divorce is when both parties involved are in agreement on all matters and there are no disputes regarding any aspect of the divorce.

  1. What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Michigan?

Couples that are looking to file for divorce can do so when “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 State Statute §552.6]. When the divorce is filed, the plaintiff, which would be the initiator of the divorce, “shall make no other explanation of the grounds for divorce.” That means if you can prove there was a breakdown in your marriage and it cannot be fixed, you satisfy Michigan’s requirements to file for divorce.

  1. Who is entitled to alimony?

The courts may award alimony to either party in the divorce given they can prove they need it. Alimony is expected to serve as maintenance and help one party carry on with their life after the divorce is finalized until they are able to get back on their feet. For example, let’s say one party was bringing in more income and handling most of the financial obligations the family had. Once they filed for divorce, the other party, who may have been unable to work or was only bringing in a limited amount of income might be awarded alimony until they can modify their living conditions or seek other employment that would allow them to afford the lifestyle they have been living.

[Source: Michigan State Statute 552.13].

  1. How much does a divorce cost in Michigan?

The cost of divorce ranges in price as your circumstances determine the type of divorce you would need to file for. Therefore, to receive an accurate estimate as to what your divorce would cost, you are encouraged to contact East Lansing, MI divorce attorney Stuart R. Shafer.

  1. Do I have to be a resident in Michigan to file for a divorce?

In order to file for divorce, Michigan State Statute §552.9 says that “you or your spouse must have resided in the state for 180 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.” Under certain circumstances, you or your spouse may also be required to reside in the county in which the divorce is being filed for “10 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.”

Although these questions may have addressed some of the concerns you have, it is likely you have plenty of others that you would like to get an answer to. While many will contact the Michigan Courts for these answers, they often find that the information that is given is limited or vague. So, if you want to avoid having to make call after call just to get partial answers to the questions you have, why not contact our firm and let us provide you with all the information you are seeking.

At the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C., we will take the necessary amount of time to ensure all of your concerns are addressed so that you can enter into your divorce feeling confident. And if you would like us to represent you throughout the duration of your case, we would be more than happy to do so as we have helped numerous clients in various cities including Lansing, East Lansing, St. Johns, Okemos, etc. get through their divorce and even obtain a favorable outcome.

The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906