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Michigan Family Law Blog

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?

For some couples, it could take much longer to get a divorce than it did to plan the wedding and get married. Many factors impact the timeline for the divorce process in Michigan. Working with a Michigan divorce attorney can help speed up the process of obtaining a divorce. An attorney understands the legal procedure for a divorce and how to avoid many of the common divorce mistakes that can lengthen the time it takes to complete the divorce process in Michigan.

The Divorce Process in Michigan

As stated above, many factors affect the timeline for a divorce.  Some deadlines and time frames are in place and required by law, such as the mandatory waiting period after filing a divorce petition. You cannot avoid these time frames. Other factors that impact the divorce timeline are flexible depending on the parties.

Two mandatory waiting periods apply in Michigan divorce cases. The first applies to couples who do not have children. If you and your spouse are willing to work together to resolve all issues without litigation, you can obtain a divorce after the 60-day waiting period expires. The waiting period begins when you file your divorce papers. Typically, most uncontested divorces that do not involve minor children close within a few months following the 60-day waiting period.

If you and your spouse have minor children, the minimum waiting period is six months after the filing of the divorce petition with the court. An uncontested divorce involving children may also be resolved in a few months following the end of the waiting period, depending on other issues and factors in the case.

Factors That Could Lengthen the Time to Obtain a Divorce in Michigan

The mandatory waiting period is just one of the factors that impact the divorce timeline. The other significant factor that impacts the timeline is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree on all issues before the court. In other words, the parties are not requesting that the court settle any differences before the judge grants a divorce. However, if the parties disagree on even one minor issue, the divorce is contested.

A contested divorce requires the court to decide the outcome based on the law applicable in the case and the evidence presented by each party. A contested divorce could last a year or more, depending on circumstances in the case.

Common issues contested in a divorce action:
  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Child support
  • Alimony or spousal support
  • Property division
  • Division of debts
A contested divorce may be settled without a trial if the parties are able to negotiate a settlement before the hearing. Mediation and negotiation are often used in contested divorce cases to achieve an agreement that is beneficial for both parties.

Call a Michigan Divorce Attorney Now to Begin the Divorce Process

The sooner you get started, the sooner you can obtain your divorce. A Michigan divorce attorney can assess your situation and provide guidance for how to make the divorce process as quick and efficient as possible. Contact Michigan divorce attorney Cameron C. Goulding to discuss your options. 

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