How long will my Michigan divorce take?
Marriage is ideally a cherished moment that unites two people’s lives and endures for decades. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Perhaps the relationship is filled with strife, your days have more stress than love, and you feel you’d both be better off going separate ways. It is a sad but not uncommon scenario; roughly half of all U.S. marriages end in divorce. If you find yourself in a situation like this and just want to get it over with, one of your first questions is how long it will take.
A Process in Flux
Divorce is much more than just two people splitting up. It is a complex and evolving process with an array of moving parts that demand attention every step of the way. One critical element is time, and true to its nature, time doesn’t come with one set answer. The length of time to complete a divorce process depends on many issues; however, some established timeframes in Michigan can help provide a general idea of what to expect.
Cooperation is Key
In order for the divorce process to quickly move through its various steps, both parties must be willing to work together to resolve the many issues in play. It only makes matters worse if the two of you constantly bicker and take that scene to attorney meetings, therapy sessions, or court proceedings. For example, spousal maintenance if children are involved is a very common issue for couples to agree on, as well as division of property. Both issues can be filled with consternation and take a long time to straighten out. Custody of your children is often another lengthy and volatile battle contributing to longer divorce proceedings.
In the state of Michigan, a divorce with no children involved takes a minimum of 60 days. If children are part of the family, the process requires at least six months before a divorce is finalized. Different circumstances affect the ultimate timeline, of course, which begins when one of the couple officially files divorce papers. All told, most Michigan divorces without children take two to nine months. Six to twelve months is common with children.
Residency requirements are also an important component of divorce. Regardless if children are part of the scenario; Michigan law states one member of the couple must have resided in the state for at least 180 days prior to filing. If the couple has no children, one of the parties must have lived in the county of divorce filing for at least 10 days.
Procedural timeframes also play a big part and must be recognized. Michigan only considers no-fault divorce and a couple is not required to separate prior to filing. However, some inherent time delays have an effect on the process. For example, after one party has filed for divorce, the other spouse must be personally notified and served, and then has 21 days to reply in writing.
If a couple can reach a settlement on all issues, they can present it to the court for review and the divorce can be finalized immediately after the 60-day period.
For help with Michigan divorce details, contact Gucciardo Law Firm at (248) 723-5190 or gucciardofamilylaw.com.
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