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Divorce Laws in Michigan

Michigan provides, but does not require, mediation for parents who cannot agree on child custody issues. It is common, in Michigan, for the court to order one spouse to pay the attorney’s fees of the other spouse, from the beginning of the proceedings. Of course this only happens when the court determines that one spouse is at a significant financial disadvantage.

Residency and jurisdiction
At least one spouse must live in Michigan for at least ix months prior to filing for divorce in the State, and for at least ten days in the county where the divorce is filed.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce
Michigan only grants no fault divorce and on the grounds of a breakdown of the marriage which cannot be repaired.

Division of property
Michigan is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50 but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. Retirement benefits are marital property. If the marital property is not enough to establish fair distribution, separate property may also be included in property division. Michigan does not consider marital misconduct in the division of property, but does punish spouses who have tried to hide assets during the divorce.

Spousal support
Many factors may be considered when determining spousal support, in Michigan, including:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Marital misconduct
  • Property division
  • Needs
  • Age
  • Health
  • Ability to pay
  • Child custody

Child custody and support
Michigan law requires the court to consider the following factors when determining child custody:

  • Love, affection and emotional ties between the parents and the child
  • Ability and willingness to give the child love, affection, guidance, education, and continue any existing religious affiliation
  • Ability and willingness to provide food, clothing, medical care or legal alternative medical care, and other material needs
  • Length of time child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment, favoring maintaining that stability
  • Permanence, as a family unit, of the parent’s home
  • Moral fitness of everyone involved
  • Mental and physical health of everyone involved
  • Home, school, and community record of the child
  • Preference of the child if the court feels the child is old enough to express a preference
  • Willingness and ability to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Domestic violence whether it has affected the child or not

Michigan uses the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Michigan, contact an experienced divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce lawsuits in Michigan and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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