advocating for all ages


What are the grounds for divorce?

The Court will grant a Judgment of Divorce if it is satisfied that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and that there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. I often hear a new client report that their spouse has told them that they will not “give them a divorce”. However, no party “gives” the other party a divorce. Although Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, fault can be a factor considered by the Court in relation to custody, parenting time, spousal support and property division disputes.

Where must I file for divorce?

A complaint for divorce can only be filed in the State of Michigan if the person starting the divorce case has resided in Michigan at least 180 days before filing for divorce. A divorce may be filed in a county where the person filing the action has resided at least 10 days immediately prior to filing the action.

How soon can I get divorced?

No divorce may be granted prior to the statutory waiting period in a divorce action. For cases involving minor children, a divorce may not be granted before six months from date of filing. In cases without minor children, the statutory waiting period is 60 days. Once the parties have reached agreement on all issues in their divorce action and that agreement is incorporated into a document called a Judgment of Divorce, which the Friend of the Court has approved where minor children are involved, the Court will take the necessary testimony, review, sign and permit the filing of the Judgment which results in the granting of a divorce. Obstacles to prompt resolution are disagreements concerning custody, parenting time, and child support, identifying the assets and liabilities that make up the marital estate and determining their value; reaching agreement on spousal support and whether the Court will have to resolve the dispute where parties are unable to agree. Mediation is frequently used to help parties and their attorneys come to an agreement.

What happens if there are children from the marriage?

Where children are involved, the law frequently refers to the “best interests” of the children. Ideally, the best interests of children are served by parents who can agree, compromise and work together for the best interests of their children. However, that isn’t always possible. Where there are minor children, issues of Custody, Parenting Time and Child support are among the child-related issues to be determined in a divorce. The Court is required to make an independent determination of the arrangement that serves the “best interests” of the child, even if the parents have reached an agreement. Custody includes decision making authority and physical care of the children and is principally concerned with control over the children. Parenting time is focused on obtaining a parenting schedule that facilitates and supports the parent-child relationship to the immediate circumstances of the parents and children. Child support is premised upon an objective formula applied to the parenting time arrangement after consideration of the parent’s respective incomes.

Can I change my name at the time of divorce?

Yes. Your name change can be included in the Judgment of Divorce.

What will my divorce cost me?

The cost of a divorce varies depending upon a number of variables. The duration and number of disputes and whether those disputes require court resolution correlate to the cost of a divorce. The devil is frequently in the details, however. Wilson Kester welcomes the opportunity to discuss ways our client’s can control their costs.