Michigan Divorce Process

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Divorce Process

A divorce is an important legal matter that follows several primary steps. A better understanding of the process can help you protect your parental and financial rights and help you know what to expect as you proceed. The outcome of your divorce is critical to your future, which makes working with an experienced Michigan divorce attorney key.

Filing the Complaint

In order for you or your spouse to file for divorce in Michigan, you must have lived in the state for at least 180 days and in the county in which you file for at least 10 days. The spouse whose attorney files the divorce papers – which are called a complaint – in the county of residence becomes the plaintiff in the case, and the other spouse becomes the defendant.

Answering the Complaint

After you’ve been served or have had your spouse served, the defendant has either 21 or 28 days to file a response, which is called an answer, and it either admits or denies each claim made in the complaint. If the spouse who is served ignores the complaint without responding, the court can move ahead with a default judgment of divorce, which can be set aside at the defendant’s request at any time prior to the case being finalized.

The Temporary Orders

If minor children are involved in your case, or there are other complications in play, the court will issue temporary orders while the divorce is pending. Such orders can address all the following:

These temporary orders also set boundaries that prohibit either side from hiding or selling marital assets.


During the discovery process, both sides gather the information necessary to evaluate the issues and resolve them. Each side presents the other with interrogatories, which are questions that must be answered under oath, and each party is required to produce specific documents. Discovery often involves financial professionals, such as appraisers and accountants. Once all the information is compiled, each side – along with their respective divorce attorneys – enters the negotiation process. If a settlement is reached, either side’s attorney can document it for the court.


Unless domestic violence is a concern or the couple resolves their divorce terms in negotiations, most Michigan divorces include mediation. Mediation involves a professional mediator facilitating negotiations between both sides and is only binding if both spouses sign off on the resolved terms.

Settlement Conference

Both sides must attend the formal settlement conference, which is the final opportunity for the couple to resolve divorce terms prior to court. Decisions agreed to at this point are no longer negotiable.

The Final Judgment

The Judgment of Divorce is a binding decree that grants the divorce and finalizes the matter. This document resolves all matters related to custody and visitation, property division, child support, and spousal support – along with any additional issues.

Turn to an Experienced Michigan Divorce Attorney for the Help You Need

The trusted divorce attorneys at Aiello & Associates have an impressive range of experience in effectively and efficiently guiding complex divorce cases toward advantageous outcomes, and we’re standing by to help you. Learn more by contacting us today.

If you are facing a tough legal issue, the decisions you make now can affect you for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced and aggressive lawyer.
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We boast a team of highly
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We prioritize building strong client relationships based on trust, open communication, and empathy. Our accomplished attorneys take the time to listen to your concerns, thoroughly assess your needs, and develop personalized legal strategies that align with your goals. With our unwavering dedication to client satisfaction, we ensure that your interests are prioritized throughout the legal process.

Proven Track Record of Success in Resolving Complex Cases

We have established a solid track record of success in handling intricate and highly contested divorce and family law cases. Our firm has successfully resolved numerous complex legal issues, including but not limited to contentious divorces, child custody disputes, property division challenges, and spousal support matters. We take a strategic approach to deliver favorable outcomes for our clients.

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