Online Divorce in Michigan
For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Michigan, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case.
The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy for you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Michigan.
Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and without stress.
Even though Michigan has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system provides the exact forms necessary along with instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.
If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out, and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.
Online divorce can be a perfect option if you want to save money or hope to have your divorce finalized quickly to get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Michigan is fast becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home.
Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home, or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.
The process at OnlineDivorce.com is 100% secure. We protect your information, and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in Michigan with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.
When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, after getting the other spouse’s signature, the divorce forms may be filed at the local court.
In Michigan, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.
The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide, along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.
After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.
Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency before filing for divorce. Michigan is no exception.
Immediately prior to filing for divorce, one of the spouses must have been a resident of Michigan for 180 days and a resident of the county for at least 10 days where the divorce is filed.
However, a person may file for divorce in any county in the state without meeting this 10-day residency requirement if the defendant was born in a foreign country, there are minor children in the marriage, and there is a risk of minor children being taken out of the country by the defendant. [Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated; Section 552.9]
There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and current Michigan driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card issued at least six months before filing for divorce.
If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form as proof you’ve lived in the state for a minimum of six months.
Rules for child support in Michigan
Whether the primary or supporting custodian, either parent may be ordered to provide a just and proper amount of child support. There is a Child Support Formula that is often used as a guideline. This formula is presumed to be correct unless shown to be unjust or inappropriate under the circumstances in a particular case.
There is a legal manual available from the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau. The court may require the parent providing support to file a bond guaranteeing the support payments.
Support may include health care, dental care, childcare, and education of the child. The Judgment of Divorce must include a provision that requires one or both of the parents to provide health care coverage if such coverage is available at a reasonable cost as a benefit of employment.
All payments of child support shall be ordered to be made through the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau. Each parent will be required to keep the Michigan Friend of the Court Bureau informed of their current address, all sources of income, and the existence of or lack of health insurance coverage. [Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated; Sections 552.15, 552.16, 552.452, and 552.519]
Mediation support in Michigan
If the court determines a chance for reconciliation in a non-contested case, they may require a delay and recommend mediation. Mediation is available in all cases for parties who wish to consider this as an alternative to divorce.
For more information about voluntary mediation, you can contact your local courthouse and ask for a referral to a court-recommended mediator. By using someone recommended by the court, you know your case will be in the best possible hands.
If you choose online divorce, mediation may be a good option to resolve any contested issues and assure the case will not have to go to court--potentially making it more expensive and time-consuming.
Filing fees for divorce in Michigan
When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
How long will it take?
Using the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more, depending on the complexity of your case. Start by filling out the questionnaire. You can do it in one sitting or save your progress and complete it at a later date. Whatever is most convenient for you.
Once you’ve received the completed documents, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. More information regarding the finalization of the divorce case is provided once the paperwork has been completed and submitted to the court.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I really file for divorce in Michigan without a lawyer?
In a divorce in Michigan, the spouses can act as self-represented litigants, i.e., without an attorney. Such a do-it-yourself divorce (or Pro Se divorce, legally speaking) is gaining popularity due to its low cost but has its pitfalls and risks.
Thus, experts in family law cases typically do not recommend arranging a divorce without legal representation for those couples who contest the case or who have not yet reached an agreement about essential terms of their separation, like property division, child custody, or financial matters. The desire to save money should not outweigh a reasonable approach to the procedure and sober assessment of the potential difficulties and divorce implications.
In contrast, if the spouses separate amicably and either do not have minor children and marital property or can solve all the disputed issues out-of-court, they may manage the divorce process independently. Besides a completely DIY divorce, they can also resort to some alternative divorce options like divorce mediation, counseling, unbounded legal services, or use the help of OnlineDivorce.com at the stage of drafting documents.
How can I file for divorce in Michigan without a lawyer?
Even though each dissolution case is unique, and some couples may have to take some additional steps, there are several main stages of the divorce process in Michigan, which are common for all, regardless of the type of divorce and the spouses' circumstances.
- Foremost, the spouse initiating the case (the plaintiff) needs to gather, fill out, and file the required divorce papers with the Clerk of Courts in the particular county. The plaintiff also has to pay a court filing fee to start a court case.
- Then, he or she shall make copies of the initial documents, including the Complaint for Divorce, the Summons, and others, depending on the case.
- The next step is serving the second spouse (the defendant) with these copies of documents within 91 days after filing. The plaintiff is not allowed to hand the papers to the defendant personally. He or she can ask any adult person who is not involved in the case to do it, hire the local sheriff's department or a private process server, or send the copies via registered or certified mail (a return receipt must be requested).
- As soon as the divorce petition is filed, the waiting period starts. In Michigan, if the spouses do not have minor children, the waiting period is sixty days, and if they do, there is a six-month waiting period.
In some cases, the waiting period can be shortened or dismissed by filing the appropriate motion. The court may considerably shorten the divorce timeline if it finds the request reasonable (for example, if it’s in the child’s best interest).
How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in Michigan?
The cost of any dissolution of marriage in Michigan starts with the court collecting a filing fee. However, the rest of the costs are hard to predict since each divorce case is unique, and the spouses have broad discretion in managing expenses.
Thus, they may hire a full-service attorney even for their uncontested case, so the attorney's fees will make up the bulk of the divorce expenses. Or in contrast, the spouses may fill out all the papers by themselves and file for divorce almost for free, as self-represented litigants.
There are plenty of other alternative options between these extremes. The spouses may choose the aid and services that suit them best.
How long do you have to live in Michigan to file for divorce?
To file for divorce in Michigan, at least one of the parties must meet the state's residency requirements.
Thus, for the Circuit Court to accept a divorce lawsuit, either spouse must be a resident of Michigan for at least 180 days before filing the Complaint. Besides, either spouse must have lived in the county of filing for no less than ten days.
However, the ten-day residency requirement can be waived if a defendant is a citizen of another country, the parties have minor children, or the plaintiff provides the court with the evidence that the defendant may try to take their child outside of the US.
How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in Michigan?
After being personally served with divorce papers, the defendant has 21 days to file an answer to the divorce complaint.
If the defendant was served with divorce forms by mail or while he or she was outside of the state, they have 28 days to answer.
The defendant also has the right to file a counterclaim for divorce, which must be filed along with the answer.
How do you get a free divorce in Michigan?
The cheapest way to terminate the marriage in Michigan is to arrange a peaceful DIY divorce without taking advantage of paid legal aid or other related services. Thus, in theory, the spouses can pay only the court filing fee, which is between $175 and $255 in Michigan, depending on whether the spouses have minor children.
An entirely free divorce is only available to plaintiffs who cannot afford to pay the court filing fee. The plaintiff shall disclose their financial information and file a Fee Waiver Request with the court asking the court to waive the filing fees.
In some cases, the court can order the defendant to pay the court fees instead of the plaintiff.
What papers do I need to file for a divorce in Michigan?
The legal forms the spouses have to file may vary depending on the multiple circumstances of a particular divorce case.
The basic package of forms which are necessary for most divorce cases in Michigan includes Summons and Complaint, Complaint for Divorce, Marital Settlement Agreement, Judgment or Divorce, Answer and Waiver, Notice of Hearing, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit.