Michigan has one ground for divorce: “There has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”
Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce state, but the term “no-fault” may be misleading. Fault isn’t a factor if the parties reach a settlement on all issues. However, if there are disputes about spousal support, property division, child support, parenting time, or custody, a judge may consider a partner’s behavior in deciding how to settle the disputes.
Almost all divorce cases are settled, which means that the parties reach an agreement that is placed on the court record. After an agreement is placed on the record, it is extremely difficult to change it. Never agree to something you don’t understand or feel forced into. Your consent must be voluntary.
Expect the divorce process to last several months. By law, a divorce cannot be granted in less than 60 days. When a couple has minor children, the wait is six months. The six-month period may be waived under certain circumstances, but it’s not a good idea to rush a divorce. There are complex issues to sort through, and it takes time to reach a sound, fair decision that both parties accept.
While your divorce is pending, both sides define issues and try to resolve them. A good amount of time goes into determining how to resolve parental issues, which may involve working with a mental health professional or evaluator. It may also include finding the net worth of each person, which may involve requesting financial statements or depositions. To get the best outcome in your case, it’s important for you to be completely candid and honest with your attorney. Remember, all conversations with your attorney are confidential. We need your complete input to best represent you.