Michigan Simple Divorce Information and
The only grounds upon which a divorce may be granted in the State of
Michigan is that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship
to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there
remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. 552.6
Residency Requirements At least one of the parties to an action for
divorce must have resided in the State of Michigan for at least 180 days
immediately prior to the filing of the complaint and must have resided in
the county of filing for at least 10 days immediately prior to the filing
of the complaint. This requirement may be waived, however, if the
defendant was born in or is a citizen of a foreign country and the parties
have minor children that are at risk of being taken out of the U.S.. 552.9
Name of court and title of action/parties An action for divorce is
filed in Circuit Court. The title of the action initiating the divorce is
the Complaint for Divorce, while the title of the action granting the
divorce is referred to as the Judgement of Divorce. The party filing the
action for divorce is the Plaintiff, while the other party to the action
is referred to as the Defendant. 552.6
Legal Separation A judgement of legal separation may be granted in the
State of Michigan upon the same grounds as for a judgement of divorce.
552.7 Alimony Either party may be ordered to pay alimony to the other
party in an amount and for a term that the court deems reasonable. 552.13
Distribution of Property The court will divide the property of the
parties as it deems equitable under the particular circumstances of the
case. All of a party's property is subject to division if the court
determines that the other party contributed to the acquisition,
improvement, or accumulation of the property. 552.401
Child Custody Custody will be awarded by the courts after consideration
of the child's best interests. Factors the court will consider in
determining the child's best interests include: (a) The love, affection,
and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the
(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the
child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and
raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
(c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the
child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized
and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and
other material needs.
(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory
environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed
custodial home or homes.
(f) The moral fitness of the parties involved.
(g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the
child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
(j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate
and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the
child and the other parent or the child and the parents.
(k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed
against or witnessed by the child.
(l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a
particular child custody dispute.
Child Support The State of Michigan has enacted child support
guidelines which establish the amount of support which is presumed to be
correct. The court may deviate from the guidelines however, upon a written
finding that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or
inappropriate. In addition, if reasonable available, health care coverage
must be obtained for the child subject to a support order. 552.16 Name
Change Upon request, the court may restore the woman to the use of a
former or maiden name if the request is not for any fraudulent or evil
purpose. 552.391 simple divorce