Is It Possible to Get Divorced in Michigan Before All of The Details Are Finalized?
When your marriage is ending and both parties have agreed to pursue divorce, the details that have to be considered seem endless, and the divorce process can seem like it takes forever. Is there a simpler way?
In other words, can you end your marital status quickly and deal with the details later?
In some states, there is such a thing as a “bifurcated” divorce. In such a situation, the grounds for divorce are satisfied, and the marriage is legally ended. Everything else — property division, custody, alimony, and other issues — will be settled later on.
A downside of such an arrangement is that, of course, two divorce trials would certainly not be cheaper than one.
Well, don’t get too excited: Bifurcated marriages are not allowed in Michigan.
Speed Things Up
However, there are ways to speed up the divorce process, even if it’s not a “speedy” divorce. And one way to speed things up is to be informed about Michigan laws pertaining to divorce, as well as you and your spouse’s capacity for cooperation.
Firstly, you should know that the only ground for divorce is that the marriage can’t be saved. This makes Michigan a pure no-fault state. In other words, you or your spouse cannot allege that there are other grounds, such as adultery.
The best way to make sure your divorce is as smooth as possible is for you and your spouse to come to an agreement regarding the major issues pertaining to children and your marital assets. One way of doing this is to go through mediation or arbitration BEFORE you come to court.
In Michigan, you can file for a simple, or uncontested, divorce. If you and your spouse have agreed on custody, division of marital assets, alimony, child support, and other issues, and you have it written into a divorce agreement, then the process is fairly smooth.
However, if you two cannot come to an agreement, then that makes it a contested divorce, and it will have to be decided in court. The good news is that you can still come to an agreement at any time in the process before a final order is rendered.
The Waiting Period
There is still a waiting period, though. After filing for divorce, you still must wait two months if you have no minor children, or six months if you do. Once the waiting period has expired, a final hearing will be held, and if the judge finds that the divorce agreement is fair and complete, then the final divorce decree will be granted.
While the prospect of dealing with tedious details in a divorce can seem daunting, it’s best to hammer them out before your motion goes to court. And if you take the time to do that, your divorce will be much “speedier” than if you hadn’t.
And while it is possible to divorce in Michigan without an attorney, you’ll still want legal guidance as to your rights and protections in divorce. Let our knowledgeable lawyers assist you in making the best decision for your future.
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