Sat August 14, 2010, 11:32am
Michigan Divorce FormsMICHIGAN DIVORCE
One spouse must have been a resident of Michigan for 180 days and a resident of the county where he or she files for 10 days.
Where to File: In the county where either spouse resides.*
Party Filing: Plaintiff
Name of Court: Circuit Court. “State of Michigan, ____ Judicial Circuit, _____ County.”
Other Party: Defendant
Title of Divorce Action: Complaint for Divorce
Title of Final Papers: Judgment of Divorce
Approved Grounds for Divorce:
No-fault: Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Fault-based: Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
General Divorce Procedures:
The clerk of the Circuit Court in any Michigan county will supply each spouse with a book that provides additional forms. In addition, the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau is to supply each party in a divorce case with a pamphlet discussing the court procedures, the rights and responsibilities of the parties, the availability of mediation, human services, and joint custody.
Mediation or Counseling Requirements:
Voluntary mediation services are available.
Legal Separation Provisions:
The grounds for legal separation are irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
*However, a person may file for divorce in any county in the state without meeting the 10-day residency requirement if the defendant was born in or is a citizen of a foreign country and there are no minor children in the marriage that are at the risk of being taken out of the country by the defendant.
Michigan is an “equitable distribution” state. All the spouses’ property, including gifts or inheritances, may be divided by the court. The court will consider the following: (1) each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of property, including non-monetary contributions; (2) the duration of the marriage; (3) the causes which led to the estrangement of the spouses and
to the divorce; (4) the financial position and rights to any insurance policies; (5) any retirement benefits; and (6) any prior marriage of each spouse.
The court may order either spouse to pay alimony. Alimony may be awarded to a spouse whose awarded property is insufficient to support him or her. The court will consider the following: (1) the ability of each spouse to pay; (2) the character and situation of each spouse; and (3) all other remaining circumstances of the case.
Child Custody and Visitation:
Either spouse may be awarded child custody. However, joint custody may also be awarded. The court will base its decision on the following factors: (1) the child’s wishes; (2) the bond between the child and each parent; (3) the ability and desire of each parent to meet the child’s needs; (4) the amount of time the child has lived in a particular environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity; (5) the desire and ability of each parent to allow a loving relationship between the child and the other parent; (6) moral character and prudence of the parents; (7) physical, emotional, mental, religious and social needs of the child; (8) the desire and ability of each parent to allow an open and loving frequent relationship between the child and the other parent; (9) the child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community;
(10) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved; (11) the permanence as a family unit of the proposed custodial home or homes; and (12) any other factors.
Either parent may be required to pay child support. There are official child support guidelines which the court may use unless the amount is shown to be unjust or inappropriate. The Judgment of Divorce must contain a provision that one or both parents provide health care coverage if this coverage is available at a reasonable cost at their place of employment. In addition, each parent must keep the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau informed of his or her address, sources of income, and health coverage.
Rights to Maiden Name:
Upon request by the wife, the court may restore her birth or former name.
This product does not constitute the rendering of legal advice or services. This product is intended for informational use only and is not a substitute for legal advice. State laws vary, so consult an attorney on all legal matters. This product was not prepared by a person licensed to practice law in this state.
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