Jurisdiction, Residency, Venue requirements for filing a divorce in Michigan
In order to file for divorce in Michigan, there are certain residency time limits that you must meet first. A Michigan law (MCL 552.9(1)) says that in order to file for divorce in Michigan, either you or your spouse need to have resided in Michigan for at least 180 days immediately before the filing of the divorce and either you or your spouse need to have resided in the county where the divorce complaint is filed for 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the divorce. The only way to get around the 10-day county requirement is if the defendant is not a citizen of the United States, there are minor children involved, and there is evidence that shows that these minor children are at risk of being removed from the United States by the defendant.
Michigan divorce and family law requires that the plaintiff (person filing the divorce complaint) verify the residency right in the divorce complaint. Experienced family law attorneys are familiar with this residency requirement as well as all of the other requirements that are stated in Michigan law. Judges in Ingham County, Eaton County, Clinton County, Jackson County and Ionia County strictly enforce the residency requirements in all divorce cases.
The purpose of this residency law is to ensure that the Michigan court has subject matter jurisdiction over the divorce case. Subject matter jurisdiction is a requirement set forth by the Constitution of the United States and must be present for the court to have authority to decide the case. The subject of determining residency can be a tricky issue and should be addressed by a trusted Michigan divorce lawyer.
The Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision that further explains this residency requirement. The case was called Kar v. Nanda and dealt with a couple who were natives of India and married there in 2007. They traveled to the United States so that the wife could attend a university in Michigan. She had a student visa which would expire in 2012 and she lived near the university. The husband traveled for work and did not live in any one place in the United States for very long. In 2009, the husband filed for divorce in Washtenaw County, which is where the wife lived for school. The wife objected to the divorce, saying that the court didn’t have subject matter jurisdiction. She reasoned that she couldn’t be a Michigan resident if her intent was to return to India. The Michigan Court of Appeals held that her lack of intent to remain in Michigan permanently did not negate her current residency in Michigan and the court allowed the divorce to continue.
If you are considering filing for divorce, or if your spouse has filed for divorce against you in Mid-Michigan, you should hire a very experienced, aggressive divorce attorney. The divorce process can be very daunting and confusing. At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, we have many years of experience helping our clients through this divorce process. We keep up with the latest developments in divorce law in Michigan and we put in the time and research to do what it takes to represent you well in your case. We will keep all your information confidential and our attorneys and staff will always maintain professionalism. Our family law attorneys are well known and respected throughout the area. Our family law practice covers Ingham County and Lansing, Eaton County, Clinton County, Jackson County, Ionia County and Gratiot County. However, our attorneys will consider more complex cases in other areas of Michigan.
When hiring a divorce lawyer, you want to make sure you and the lawyer will make a good team. Because of this, we offer you the opportunity to meet with one of our aggressive divorce attorneys for a free initial consultation. This is your chance to learn about us and how we can help you with your divorce case.
Call us today! Our phone number is (517) 886-1000 and we can be reached 24 hours per day!
Our office is conveniently located at 420 S. Waverly Road in Lansing, Michigan.