What is a Michigan Uncontested Divorce?

An uncontested divorce in Michigan means that you are in agreement on all the terms of the divorce.  For example, you agree on the division of assets and debts, spousal support, child custody, child support.  Typically, if everything is in agreement the cost of divorce is greatly reduced.  If there is a dispute that requires litigation and court time, that increases your costs to get a divorce.

What is Michigan No Fault Divorce?

Michigan enacted no fault divorce about fifty years ago.  Prior to no fault divorce, a person was required to prove fault to get a divorce.  For example, you would need to prove abuse or an affair just to get divorced.  If you could not prove fault, you were required to stay married.  Under no fault divorce, you do not need to prove fault.  You merely have to state that there has been a breakdown in your marriage and there is no reasonable likelihood the marriage can be preserved.  At that point the court divides assets and debts and addresses child custody, child support, and spousal support.

What will a divorce cost in Michigan?

The cost a divorce in Michigan can very depending on the extent of the dispute and the extent of assets involved.  A highly contested divorce can be expensive.  If everyone is in agreement a divorce can cost as little as 1,500.00 dollars.  If there is retirement to be divided and mediation is required to resolve your case, you can plan on spending 3,000 to 5,000 dollars.   If a case is highly contested or involved extensive assets a divorce can cost over 50,000 dollars.  You and your spouse control the attorney fees.  The faster you resolve your case the less expensive it will be.

How will our property be divided is a divorce?

In Michigan, assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are typically divorce equally.  With every general rule there is always exceptions.  Premarital or gifted property can be considered separate and not part of the divorce.  Additionally, in Michigan, fault can change the division of property and debts.  If a party is a fault for the breakdown of the marriage, assets and debts can be divided 60/40.

Is there an alternative to going to trial?

Yes, there are a number of ways to resolve your divorce without a trial.  First, you can agree to terms of a divorce and have a consent judgment entered.  Second you can do mediation.  Mediation is a process where a mediator helps resolve the issues in your case.  there is arbitration.  Arbitration is an informal process in which third party ( typically a divorce lawyer) acts as a judge and decides the issues in your case.  90 percent of divorce are resolved without a trial.

What issues can be resolved in a divorce?

A divorce will resolve all property issues and spousal support between the parties.  It will also resolve all issue about custody, parenting time, and child support in cases involving minor children.  A judgment can also address other issues including distribution of retirement benefits, tax dependency issues, moving the home of the children, school districts, and other issues between the parties.

How long will the divorce process take?

In Michigan there is a minimum waiting period of 60 days involving a divorce without minor children.  There is a minimum waiting period of 180 day in cases involving minor children.  The court sets a maximum of 1 years to enter a judgment and finalized the case.

Can you get a divorce without your spouse’s consent?

In Michigan you can get a divorce without the spouse consenting.  Michigan is a no fault divorce state.  If one party wants a divorce they can get a divorce.  You merely have to state on the record there has been a breakdown in your marriage.  That being said, the person who doesn’t want to be divorced can dispute the terms of the divorce and make it difficult to finalize.

What is the process to getting a divorce?

All divorces in Michigan start with the filing of a divorce complaint in the county that your reside.  The divorce complaint states basic information such as your names, names of children, date of marriage, if someone is pregnant, and the fact that there has been a breakdown of the marriage.  Once the case is filed, there is a 60 day waiting period if there are no children (180 days if there are minor children).

After the case is filed  there is typically a temporary order entered.   The temporary order states everyone’s rights and obligations while the case is pending, but the final judgment has not entered.  A temporary order can be extremely important.  It will state who is living in the home and drive what car.  Who is paying insurance, custody, spousal support, parenting time, child support, and other rights.

During the waiting period information is exchanged through a process called discovery.  Mediation will occur if there is no agreement.  Mediation is a informal process to agree on a judgment of divorce.  If there is no agreement, the case will be set for a trial and a judge will decide the terms of a judgment.

Ultimately a divorce judgment is prepared and entered at a ProCon Hearing.  This ultimately finalizes the divorce.

How much does it cost to get a divorce if both parties agree?

A divorce where both parties agree in Michigan is called an uncontested divorce.  The fact that everyone is in agreement saves a significant amount of attorney fees.  It is important that all the documents are done correctly even in an uncontested divorce.  The divorce judgment effects your rights forever.  If retirement rights are involved, a QDRO or EDRO will need to be prepared to divide the retirement benefit.  Additionally, if real estate is involved, a deed will need to be prepared and refinancing will need to be addressed in the judgment.   Typically, an uncontested divorce can be completed with all court hearing and filing fee for as little as 1,500.00 to 2,000.00 dollars.  We can give an exact number after talking to you to determine the amount of work.