There are three basic divorce options available in Michigan. These are:
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage – Also called simplified divorce. It is available to couples who have lived in Michigan for at least 6 months, agree on the same terms, have no minor children and are not expecting one, and are not seeking alimony. Both parties must attend the final divorce hearing.
Uncontested Divorce – If the parties agree on all issues such as the division of property, debt, alimony, child support, and parenting plans, leaving nothing for the judge to decide, they can file for an uncontested divorce. In this case your attorney will draw up a Marital Settlement Agreement, and then either one or both parties will go to court for a final hearing.
Contested Divorce – If terms cannot be worked out amicably by both parties, then decisions must be made by a judge. Contested divorces take the longest because the case goes to trial and a judge has to go through every document to settle all disputes between the spouses. Both parties have to attend mediation required by almost every court in the State of Michigan.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Michigan?
How long it takes to get a divorce in Michigan will depend on the type of divorce you are filing for. The process of a simplified divorce usually takes 30 days to complete as long as there is a complete agreement on the terms of the divorce and it is uncontested.
In an uncontested divorce case, often parties will enter into a written settlement agreement, with the help of their attorney, prior to filing for their uncontested divorce. From the time of filing until entry of a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, an uncontested divorce could generally take around 4-6 months.
If the matter is contested, however, parties are looking into a much longer process, particularly if minor children are involved. In some Michigan counties, parties with minor children will be required to attend mediation. A contested divorce can take anywhere from 9 months to 3 years or longer to be completed, depending on the facts and circumstances.