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Does Michigan Require Separation Before Divorce?

Does Michigan Require Separation Before Divorce?

If you are planning to make a significant life change such as divorce, it is best to carefully consider what you must do to accomplish your goal.

Obtaining a divorce in Michigan is more complicated than simply showing up at the courthouse and telling a judge you do not want to be married anymore. If you do not meet the requirements to be divorced, a judge will have no choice but to deny you the divorce you seek.

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means you do not need to prove any reason for wanting a divorce. It is enough to tell the court that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences. Aside from this, you must meet Michigan’s residency requirement and comply with a waiting period before a court can finalize your divorce.

There Is No Separation Period in a Michigan Divorce

One mandate that Michigan does not impose on you is a separation requirement. Some states require you and your spouse to live separately from one another for a period of time before you can file a divorce petition.

One purpose of having a separation provision like this is to give the parties an opportunity to assess whether they truly want to divorce or whether the marriage relationship can be salvaged.

Michigan does not impose any such separation requirement on divorcing couples. While you and your spouse are free to try living separately, nothing in the state’s divorce statutes requires you to do so.

Additionally, you can inform the court during your divorce case whether any attempts to live separately were able to save the marriage. Once again, though, there is no requirement that you do so.

Michigan Residency Requirements and Waiting Periods

Two requirements you should be aware of if you seek to file for divorce in Michigan are the state’s residency and waiting period requirements. First, you or your spouse must live in Michigan at the time the divorce petition is filed and have lived in Michigan for at least 180 days immediately prior.

For example, suppose that you file for divorce in Michigan on December 1, 2023. You meet the residence requirement if you are living in Michigan on December 1, 2023, and have lived there since June 1, 2023.

Next, the state requires a certain amount of time to pass between the time the other party receives a copy of your divorce petition and the time the court pronounces that you are divorced.

If you and your spouse do not have any minor children in common, this period must be at least 60 days long. However, this waiting period lengthens to 180 days if you have minor children.

A Michigan Divorce Lawyer Can Help You Comply With Statutes

Divorce laws can be confusing, and over time, they may change. Having a skilled and knowledgeable Michigan divorce lawyer assisting you will help ensure you comply with all the requirements to get a divorce.

Your lawyer can advise you throughout the process on what requirements you must meet and guide you to a speedy conclusion to your divorce case.

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