Sunday, March 04, 2012


When you are in the  emotional turmoil of a break up divorce laws in Michigan are sometimes hard to understand.

DID YOU KNOW-Grounds for divorce.
“[T]here 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.”
The plaintiff may not include any other explanation of the grounds in the complaint. The defendant may admit or deny the grounds. The court may consider an admission but is not bound by it.

Divorce attorneys in Michigan are here to help your in this difficult time.
DID YOU KNOW-Jurisdiction; venue. §1.3.
On the filing date, one party must have resided in Michigan for at least 180 days and in the county of filing for at least 10 days. Residence means the place of a permanent home where the party intends to remain.
The 10-day county residency requirement need not be met if there is information that would allow the court to reasonably conclude that the parties’ minor children are at risk of being taken outside the U.S. and kept in a foreign country by a defendant who was born in a foreign country or who is not a U.S. citizen.

Books are available to guide you in a do it yourself divorce in Michigan
Initial filings. §§1.7–1.10.
The initial filing for a divorce without children includes a summons, a complaint, filing fees, and a record of divorce or annulment (some counties require filing at the time of entry of the judgment).
If there are minor children or a request for spousal support, a verified statement must be served on the other party and provided to the Friend of the Court. The initial filing for a divorce with minor children must also include information about custody proceedings and the names and birth dates of the minor children.
The complaint must include the following:
  • The statutory grounds for divorce, without further explanation.
  • The parties’ complete names and their names before marriage.
  • Residency information.
  • Whether a party is pregnant.
  • The required case caption language (see §1.8).
  • Whether there are minor children of the parties or minor children born during the marriage.
  • The complete names and birth dates of any minors involved in the action, including minor children of the parties and all children born during the marriage.
  • Whether there is property to be divided.
  • If a request for protection of property is made, facts sufficient to support the relief requested.
  • If spousal support is requested, a showing of the need for support and the other party’s ability to pay.
  • If there are minors or a request for child support, whether any Michigan court has continuing jurisdiction over the minor and, if so, the court and file number.
  • If custody of a minor is to be determined, the following must be included in the complaint or in an attached affidavit: (1) the child’s present address, (2) places where the child has lived within the last five years, (3) names and present addresses of persons with whom the child has lived during that period, (4) whether the party has participated in other litigation concerning the custody of the child in Michigan or elsewhere, (5) whether the party knows of a proceeding that could affect the current child custody proceeding, and (6) whether the party knows of a person who is not a party to the proceedings who has physical custody of the child or claims custody or parenting time rights.

Filing fees may be waived. Fees and costs must be waived or suspended for persons receiving public assistance and indigent persons. The judge may hold a hearing to determine if the person is indigent. If the affidavit of indigency is not disputed, the waiver is mandatory.

When in divorce in Michigan with children we strongly encourage you to use the attorney of your choice.
DID YOU KNOW-Service. §§1.13–1.15.
Service is as provided in the general rules for service, with a copy to the Friend of the Court if there are minor children, a party is pregnant, or support is requested.
If there is a nonresident defendant and jurisdiction is under the long-arm statute, service is made as on a resident defendant. If jurisdiction is acquired by personal service with an order for appearance and publication, specific proofs are required (see §1.13).

Even in an uncontested divorce in Michigan the issues may be complicated.
DID YOU KNOW-Ex parte orders; temporary restraining orders. §§1.17–1.24.
The court must be satisfied by specific facts set forth in an affidavit or verified pleading that irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay required to effect notice, or that notice itself will precipitate adverse action before an order can be issued.
Orders are effective upon entry but may not be enforced until the other party is served with notice.
Ex parte orders for child support, custody, or parenting time must include the notice in MCR 3.207(B)(5).

Of the divorce lawyers in Michigan I take pride in the quality of representation provided by my office.
Temporary restraining orders. §1.21.
Requirements for granting a temporary restraining order (TRO):
  • It clearly appears from specific facts shown in an affidavit or a verified pleading that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant from the delay required to effect notice, or that notice itself will precipitate adverse action before an order can be entered.
  • The applicant’s attorney certifies in writing any efforts to give notice and why notice should not be required.
  • A permanent record is made of nonwritten evidence, arguments, or representations supporting the application.

The order must be (1) endorsed with the date and time it is issued, (2) describe the injury and why it is irreparable, and (3) state why the order was granted without notice.
Domestic relations TROs (unlike others) need not expire within a fixed period, and the court need not set a date for further hearing.
For personal protection orders, see §1.22 and Mary M. Lovik, Domestic Violence Benchbook: A Guide to Civil and Criminal Proceedings (3d ed MJI 2004).
If you have additional questions contact Terry R. Bankert 810-235-1970