When Is a Michigan Divorce Finalized?
The bonds of marriage are not easily severed, at least legally speaking. No matter when your divorce petition was filed, or where your divorce case is procedurally in the court system, your marriage is not over until the court says it is over. Only the judge can officially grant your divorce and end your marriage.
The finalization of your divorce is more than a formality. Before your divorce is finalized, your soon-to-be ex-spouse still has rights, including rights of inheritance. Moreover, if you remarry before your divorce is finalized, your new marriage is void and can be annulled. It is also (technically) a crime, although the crime of adultery is rarely prosecuted.
Timeline of a Michigan Divorce
Divorces in Michigan follow a predictable pattern. The speed at which each divorce proceeds through this process, though, can vary significantly. Some factors that impact how long your divorce will take include:
- How quickly the divorce petition is filed and served
- How promptly do you and your spouse comply with discovery requests
- The number and nature of contested issues present in your divorce
- Whether you and your spouse have any children in common
Where there are no minor children involved and you and your spouse agree on all issues, you may be able to finalize your divorce within three or four months. This includes the mandatory waiting period of 60 days from the date the divorce action is filed.
If you have minor children from the marriage, you may have to wait a minimum of six months from the date your divorce case is filed. This is the length of time Michigan law requires to pass before a divorce will be granted in cases where minor children are involved. The court may waive this period, though, so you may be able to obtain a divorce sooner than six months.
What Must Happen for Your Michigan Divorce to Be Finalized
A court must resolve issues of property division, child custody and visitation, and alimony before a divorce case can be closed. These matters may be resolved either through agreements you reach with your spouse or by the decision of the court.
Once these issues are resolved, then the court will declare that you and your spouse are legally divorced. This declaration becomes effective upon the filing and approval of the order of divorce. It is typical for the order to be filed either the same day as your final court hearing or shortly thereafter.
Why You Need a Michigan Divorce Attorney to Help You
There are many steps between the filing of the divorce petition and the final decree of divorce where the process can get bogged down. That is where the team at Gucciardo Family Law can assist you. With our years of experience in resolving all types of divorces, we can help ensure your case advances steadily and you receive the divorce decree in a timely manner.
Contact our office today and request a case evaluation with our legal team.
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