We can help you with:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Spousal Support
  • Parenting Time
  • Child Support
  • Negotiation/Settlements
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Litigation


  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Estate Planning
  • Powers of Attorney (Durable Power of Attorney)
  • Health Care Directives
  • Patient Advocate Designations



Divorce Filing in Michigan: 
You can file for divorce in Michigan as long as you or your spouse have:

  • lived in Michigan for at least 180 days;
  • lived for 10 days in the county in which you are filing (before you file in that particular county); 
  • the marriage is no longer viable (objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there is no chance of reconciliation).
  • Your divorce is initiated when the Plaintiff (person first filing for divorce) files a fully compliant summons, a complaint, and all other required documents with the Circuit Court (county in which you and/or your spouse live). Contact us today for more information on what is required to file for Divorce in Michigan.

Key points to remember:

  • The Circuit Court in which you file is usually the county where you and/or your spouse live, i.e. Wayne County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Macomb County etc. Each court may have its own filing protocol, so it is important to understand how and where to file your Summons/Complaint or Answer before filing.
  • Michigan has “no-fault” divorce, and so although you don’t need to prove fault, it is a factor the Court can consider when looking at issues of spousal support or property division.
  • To file you do not have to be separated or living in separate households. However, at least one of the parties has to testify that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed to the point that there is no likelihood of reconciliation.
  • The length of your divorce case can vary from 60 days + depending on whether you have minor children.
  • Complex divorce cases can go to trial, much like a trial in other civil matters. Divorce trials involve detailed strategy and planning. However, not every divorce case will go to trial. Most divorce matters will go through mediation or arbitration, and/or are settled via negotiation, or default judgment. 
  • Our Michigan Divorce Lawyers can help you understand the process, and/or alternatives to divorce, such as an action for separate maintenance or annulment.


Child Custody:

There are generally two types of custody (legal + physical) and parents can seek sole or joint custody for each type. Sometimes emergency motions for custody and or ex-parte orders are required for the protection of the child/children.

In a child custody dispute between parents, the best interests of the child controls. See MCL 722.25(1). Section 3 of the Child Custody Act provides: “As used in this act, "best interests of the child" means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court:

(a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.

(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. [MCL 722.23; MSA 25.312(3).]” See § 3 of the Child Custody Act, particularly MCL 722.23; MSA 25.312(3)


Parenting time consists of how much time the child spends with each parent. There is no set formula on how much parenting time each parent will receive. Generally, Michigan law states that it is usually in the “best interests of a child” to have parenting time in a duration that promotes a strong relationship between a child and each parent. Sometimes, a motion for change of custody and parenting time is needed in cases where there is proper cause and a change in circumstances.

Pursuant to MCL 722.27a,

The court may consider the following factors when determining the frequency, duration, and type of parenting time to be granted:
  (a) The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child.
  (b) Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6 months of age, or less than 1 year of age if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing.
  (c) The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child during parenting time.
  (d) The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise of parenting time.
  (e) The inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on, the child of traveling for purposes of parenting time.
  (f) Whether a parent can reasonably be expected to exercise parenting time in accordance with the court order.
  (g) Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise reasonable parenting time.
  (h) The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent or from a third person who has legal custody. A custodial parent's temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence of the custodial parent's intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent.
  (i) Any other relevant factors.

Our Michigan Divorce Attorneys can help you decide how to address your child custody, child support and parenting time issues in Michigan.


Child Support:

Child support focuses on providing equitable financial support from both parents for their minor children under the age of 18 (other factors can affect this age of 18 limit). Child Support is administered using a formula (Michigan Child Support Formula) and so child support looks different depending on individual circumstances. The formula considers each parent's income and the total number of overnights the child will have with each parent.

Sometimes Child Support needs to be modified for reasons such as:

  • Either parent gets a raise or an increase in pay;
  • Either parent loses a job or loses a source of income;
  • Either parent begins to provide health care coverage for the child;
  • The child’s needs have increased and/or there are additional child care expenses to be addressed;
  • Custody arrangements have changed;
  • A child turns 18 and is no longer in high school


Property & Debt Division (Assets/Liabilities)

The first consideration when dividing property in divorce proceedings is the determination of marital and separate assets. Generally, marital property (marital assets) is property that came to either party (spouse) by reason of the marriage or during the marriage. Separate property (or separate assets) can be described as property owned by one spouse before the marriage, or property kept separate from the parties’ other assets. The holder of separate property usually keeps it. However, where a spouse treats separate property as if it belonged to the marriage, some courts hold that it becomes “marital” and divide it as marital property. This situation arises when separate funds are commingled with marital funds, are routinely used for marital purposes, or are placed in joint names.

Marital property can include your marital home, other real property (real estate), retirement accounts, pensions, life insurance, and investment accounts, including but not limited to, other types of property as well. The Judge will consider the following factors when deciding how to divide property and debts:

  • The length of your marriage
  • Your age
  • Your health status/condition
  • Your needs and your current living situation
  • Your ability to earn money and make a living
  • Your contribution to the marital estate
  • Your standard and status of living during the marriage
  • Your conduct during the marriage (fault)

There is no set formula or rigid mathematical rule for property division. Rather, the court’s duty is to make a decision that is fair and equitable under all of the circumstances. It’s best to speak to one of our Michigan Attorneys to better understand how property and liabilities are divided in a divorce in Michigan.


Spousal Support (Alimony) 

Spousal Support (Temporary or Permanent): About fourteen factors are considered in determining whether spousal support should be awarded. They are not codified in statute but are derived from case law:

1. The past relations and conduct of the parties;

2. the length of the marriage;

3. the abilities of the parties to work;

4. the source and amount of property awarded to the parties;

5. the parties’ ages;

6. the abilities of the parties to pay alimony;

7. the present situation of the parties;

8. the needs of the parties;

9. the parties’ health;

10. the prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others;

11. contributions of the parties to the joint estate;

12. a party’s fault in causing the divorce;

13. the effect of cohabitation on a party’s financial status; and

14. general principles of equity.

Attorneys Fees: MCR 3.206(D) states that a party may at any time request that the court order the other party to pay all or part of the attorneys’ fees and expenses related to the action. Further, an award of attorneys’ fees is appropriate when a party is unable to bear the expense of the action and the other party is able to pay.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

Only your attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

If you have legal questions, please contact us at: (248) 419-0678. 



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