There are many factors that could affect your divorce. Things like whether or not you have kids, to what your prenup says about how your assets get divided are all going to come into play. From alimony and child support, to which lawyer you hire to represent you, there are all kinds of things that will have an impact on your divorce process. But the one that people tend to forget is Michigan’s residency requirement.
You may not know it, but residency requirements are important…
So what exactly is a residency requirement? In a nutshell, it’s the rule which says that you and your spouse need to have lived in Michigan for a certain period of time in order to file for divorce here. In order to get divorced in Michigan, the law says that you or your spouse need to have:
- Been residents of Michigan for at least 180 before the date you file, and
- Been residents of the county where you’re filing for divorce for at least 10 days before the filing date.
So for those of you who’ve lived in Michigan for years, or maybe even your whole life, this isn’t going to be any kind of problem. But if you or your spouse recently moved here, it may end up putting a temporary hold on your divorce plans.
Does that apply to everyone? Surely there are exceptions?
If you’re certain there should be a little wiggle room in there for certain people, then you’d be right. Specifically:
- If either you or your spouse aren’t US citizens, or
- If you have children and there’s a chance that your spouse may take them out of the country against your will.
In other words, if your spouse has family in another country, or citizenship in another country, and you’re afraid they’ll take your children and leave the US in order to have sole custody. In these two situations, the court may grant you permission to file for divorce. However, you’ll need to provide evidence to back up your claims.
Why does Michigan even have that rule? It doesn’t make sense!
The reason for Michigan’s residency requirement is something called subject matter jurisdiction. This means in order for a court to have authority over a particular matter, that matter has to be within its jurisdiction. In other words, if you don’t live here, the court here doesn’t have the authority to grant you a divorce. So before you ask a Judge for a divorce (or for custody of your kids!), you have to prove that you live in Michigan, and fall under the jurisdiction of the Michigan court.
Are you ready to call it quits, but need help with the details?
If you’re considering a divorce in Michigan, and you’re already a residents of the state, we recommend that you get help from an experienced divorce attorney. The divorce process can be confusing, made even more difficult because the law is fluid, and requirements can change. So call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245, and discuss your situation with a skilled family law attorney. We’re available 24/7 and we’re here to help!