State Laws

Michigan Divorce


Michigan Residency Requirements
Michigan requires that all individuals filing for divorce be state residents for a minimum of one hundred eighty days prior to filing for a divorce. All divorce petitions are to be sent to the Michigan Judicial Circuit Court in the county where one or both of the individuals reside.

An individual is also required to live in a specific county for a minimum of ten days before he or she can file for a divorce in that county. Michigan has certain stipulations of residency that can eliminate this ten-day requirement. An individual must not be United States citizen or be born in the United States, he or she must have a child under the age of eighteen produced through the marriage, and the child must be at risk if he or she were to be taken out of the United States. If not all portions of these stipulations do apply then a divorce can be denied.

Michigan Divorce Grounds
The United States requires that every divorce have grounds for which a divorce will stand. These are the reasons why the individuals want a divorce. Unlike other states that have various reasons and grounds for divorce, Michigan has only one ground for which divorce is legal.

Under this ground the individuals must show evidence to the court that the marriage is irretrievable under all circumstances. It must also be shown to the court that the marriage is otherwise destroyed. One individual may petition for divorce and will have to prove his or her evidence to the court or both individuals may petition together.

Michigan Required Counseling
The court may order counseling for the divorcing individuals if disputes need to be handled. Such disputes can include child custody matters and visitation rights. Under counseling the individuals will meet with a domestic relations mediator to handle the counseling session. The court may also mandate discussions without a domestic relations mediator.

Distributing Property
The state of Michigan is considered to be an equitable distribution state. This means that all the property acquired through the marriage will not necessary be split evenly between the spouses, but fairly instead.

If the individuals involved cannot divide the property themselves, the court will have the liberty to do so. The Michigan court will consider which spouse brought what property in the marriage and why. Portions of the property may be distributed through money means instead. The court will also consider which spouse has custody of any subsequent children and determine if he or she should be awarded the family home.

Spousal Support
In every Michigan divorce the court will decide if spousal support needs to be paid. The court will consider if awarding spousal support is in favor of the individuals.

The court will also consider how the spousal support will be used, if in the maintenance of personal needs or for the maintenance of awarded property. Spousal support is not awarded in every divorce case. The court is not required to award spousal support simply because one individual requested it.

See also:
Michigan Felony
Michigan Gun Laws
Michigan Bankruptcy
Michigan Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Michigan Expungement External link (opens in new window)