No Fault and Uncontested Divorces in Oakland County, Michigan
Michigan is a “no fault” state, this means that the cause of divorce in Michigan is always considered to be “irreconcilable differences.” It also means that neither spouse can allege that the cause of a divorce was poor behavior or wrongdoing on the part of the other. Fault may be a consideration when it comes to determining spousal support and marital property division, but it is never deemed to be the root cause of the divorce itself.
Although no fault divorce in Michigan is universal, not all Michigan divorces are uncontested. In fact, a large percentage of divorces in the state are contested; this occurs because of disputes over major issues such as alimony, child support, child custody, and division of property; or when one of the spouses is abusive or does not want the marriage to end. In such cases, both sides typically hire lawyers, and there is a costly and protracted legal proceeding. Couples who agree on the major issues can save a significant amount of time and expense by opting for an uncontested divorce.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
In Michigan, a divorce can be uncontested if both spouses agree to dissolve their marriage amicably and without the time and expense of a lengthy trial. If there are no major disagreements and both spouses want to go through with it, the proceeding can be completed more smoothly and with minimal cost.
In a Michigan uncontested divorce, just one lawyer is typically hired to initiate the paperwork. Technically, an attorney is not allowed to represent both sides in a divorce proceeding. However, all that is needed is for the divorce complaint to be filed with a circuit court that has jurisdiction. If there is no response to the complaint within 21 days (or 28 days if the complaint is served by mail or out of state), an order of default is entered, and the divorce becomes officially uncontested.
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How Long does an Uncontested Divorce in Michigan Take?
The timeframe for a divorce that is not contested is typically much shorter than a proceeding that goes to trial. Before getting started, at least one of the spouses must have lived in Michigan for a minimum of six months or 180 days. In addition, at least one of the spouses must have resided in the county in which the complaint is filed at least 10 days prior to the filing.
If there are no children involved, the divorce can be finalized within 60 days. If the spouses have minor children between them, there is a six-month waiting period. In rare cases, these requirements may be waived, but generally, you should expect to follow these guidelines.
Divorce is a painful process, and it takes an emotional toll on all parties involved. However, when possible, it is best to dissolve your marriage amicably with an uncontested divorce. At Gucciardo Family Law, we understand the struggles families go through when they are facing a breakup. We are honest, straightforward, experienced, and compassionate; and go above and beyond to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible. For a free consultation with our skilled Metro Detroit divorce attorney, contact us today at (248) 723-5190.