Some people may consider the divorce process complicated, but it depends on the circumstances. Do partners get along and take care of their disagreements regarding essential matters? Or are they in a state of conflict? These and many other factors can play a determining role in the divorce procedure.
Being knowledgeable of the legal divorce specifics in one’s state can create an opportunity to save money! This article explores the divorce process in Michigan. The information below is going to be useful for people who are considering an online DIY divorce scenario.
Some Information to Consider
Michigan is a no-fault state. It means that one or both partners can state that their marriage has suffered a breakdown, and there is no chance of reconciling it. So, spouses do not have to prove each others’ fault to the judge to begin the divorce process.
It is impossible to begin a fault-based divorce process because Michigan erased the very term from its legislative base. However, providing evidence of a partner’s misconduct can be useful. The judge can consider bad behavior when deciding how to resolve important matters such as child custody, spousal support, property division, etc.
Michigan has specific residency requirements for people who are considering filing for divorce. At least one of the partners has to hold residency in the state for at least 6 months prior to the divorce. Additionally, one of the spouses has to reside in the county for at least 10 days before filing for divorce to the local court.
When people hear about “online divorce,” they often assume that the whole process can be completed just with their laptop or phone. However, that is not the case. There are no laws designed to assist couples in getting a divorce online. Online divorce refers to the preparation of divorce documents via the Internet.
Requirements for an Online Divorce
Couples who want to go through the divorce process by themselves (without an attorney) need to meet one main requirement — the divorce must be uncontested. It means that both partners agree on all the important matters such as property division, asset allocation, debt distribution, child custody, etc.
If spouses cannot reach a full agreement and are stuck in a deadlock, a divorce becomes contested. It means that the judge becomes involved in resolving conflicts, and the possibility of hiring lawyers on both sides increases considerably. Such a situation negates the option of taking the case into your own hands and preparing papers online.
How to Do It
People who are trying to do their forms by themselves online have two options. The first one is to find the documents on the Michigan Courts Website and fill them out. It is a viable option, but the spouse filing the forms, the petitioner, must know the required documents and fill them out correctly.
The second option is to use the services of an online divorce paperwork assistance company. These websites are easy to navigate and provide users with a platform to fill out and generate their divorce papers easily. Going through a simple survey allows the website to determine the documents needed for each specific case, and the result is 100% court-ready documents in a few business days.
Papers Are Ready. What’s Next?
After the papers are ready, people often ask themselves what to do next. Typically, online paperwork services provide step-by-step instructions on what to do next. But let’s go through these steps here.
The prepared papers have to be filed in the local county circuit court. The petitioner has to pay filing fees. However, it is possible to request a waiver due to financial hardship. The judge reviews the request and can relieve you of all the fees.
After filing the papers, they have to be served via a local sheriff or process server. The respondent signs the Proof of Service, which is a confirmation of service. This document must also be filed for the court to proceed with the divorce. If the divorce is uncontested, the Complaint for Divorce does not need to be answered.
After the time to respond to the Complaint has expired, it is possible to book a final hearing. In Michigan, the waiting period is six months for spouses with children and two months for childless couples. The petitioner must attend the final hearing, where the judge reviews the case and signs the final decree.
It is not hard to get divorce forms online in Michigan. Of course, everything depends on each case, but uncontested divorce is likely to go rather easily. If you decide to prepare your papers online, you can potentially save lots of money. Good luck!
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