Michigan Divorce Laws

Michigan divorce laws have many details to be considered.  Before filing for dissolution of marriage, one must verify the residency and grounds for petition in their respective state.  If a state is discovered to not have jurisdictional rights, a case will be dismissed or not accepted at all.  The guidelines for Michigan are indicated below.

Who Can File for Divorce and On What Grounds

The state of Michigan requires that either complainant or defendant reside in the state for 180 days immediately prior to the filing of the petition, and in the county of filing for 10 days prior to filing.  The grounds for filing must be declared on the complaint for Divorce.  In Michigan the acceptable grounds for divorce are permanent breakdown of marriage, which allows no likelihood that the union can be repaired.

Division of Property

Michigan is an “Equitable distribution” state, therefore all property acquired during the marriage is to be divided in an equitable fashion.  The parties are encouraged to come to an agreement regarding the assets and debts.  If none can be reached then the court will determine the fairest division of all assets.

Child Custody

Child custody can be the most challenging part of a divorce. Michigan courts do all possible to reduce the emotional trauma that children are experiencing.  If forced to intervene, the court will consider any or all of the following factors before rendering its decision regarding custody.

  • The preference of the child, if the child is considered of sufficient age to offer their opinion.
  • The ability of the involved parties to offer support and love to the children. And continue their education including religious education.
  • The moral and physical fitness of the parties involved.
  • The education record of the child, as well as that of their home and community.
  • The situation offered of existing or proposed homes.
  • Any other factors deemed applicable by the court.

Child Support

Child support will be decided in conjunction with the custody agreement.  Michigan utilizes the Income Shares Model of child support calculation.  Financial records of both parents are used to determine the appropriate amount of support which is then divided proportionally between the parents.  The formula also allows for adjustments to support amounts and health care obligations by considering the needs of the child and financial abilities of the parents.  There are also allowances for repayment of overdue support.

Spousal Support is not considered in every divorce case in Michigan.  If at the conclusion of divorce proceedings if the amount awarded to a party is not sufficient to support them or dependent children in their care, support may be mandated on wither a temporary or permanent basis.