Grounds for Divorce in Michigan
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, but there is only one standard for a divorce in Michigan, which is stated in MCL 552.6(1), which requires “…there 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 party who files for the divorce is known as the plaintiff, and this person cannot state any other reason than the above requirement as a grounds for a Michigan divorce. The plaintiff cannot provide anymore detail of why they are requesting the divorce. The defendant is the other spouse, and this party may either admit or deny the allegations of the plaintiff. Even if the defendant admits to the plaintiff’s claim, a divorce judgment in Michigan may not be entered until evidence is presented in open court that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship. A divorce ends a valid marriage in Michigan.
In order for a court to grant a Michigan divorce judgment, it must have jurisdiction over the two parties, and the residency requirements must be met, which are listed in the Michigan Legislature. According to MCL 552.9(1):
“(1) A judgment of divorce shall not be granted by a court in this state in an action for divorce unless the complainant or defendant has resided in this state for 180 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint and, except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the complainant or defendant has resided in the county in which the complaint is filed for 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.
(2) A person may file a complaint for divorce in any county in the state without meeting the 10-day requirement set forth in subsection (1) if all of the following apply and are set forth in the complaint:
(a) The defendant was born in, or is a citizen of, a country other than the United States of America.
(b) The parties to the divorce action have a minor child or children.
(c) There is information that would allow the court to reasonably conclude that the minor child or children are at risk of being taken out of the United States of America and retained in another country by the defendant.” (Michigan Legislature, 2017, Section 552.9)
Frequently Asked Questions on Grounds for Divorce
There is a lot of confusion surrounding legal aspects involved in a divorce. Particularly on what the grounds for divorce are and what implications this will have on parenting time. As experienced divorce lawyers, here are some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic.