Michigan’s Required “Cooling Off” Period Will Affect Your Divorce Timeline

Michigan’s mandatory wait period after filing means you’ll be cooling your heels for a bit before your divorce gets finalized.

You’re a go-getter. Once you set your mind to something, you achieve it, come hell or high water. Nothing can stop you. We get it – we tend to be a lot like that as attorneys. We’re very driven, and very goal oriented, so we understand clients who are the same way. However, filing for divorce in Michigan can be a very frustrating experience for someone with a timeline in mind and an agenda all ready to go.

What exactly is Michigan’s “cooling off” period?

It works like this: When you file for divorce in Michigan, there is a mandatory waiting period after you file, before you can finalize the divorce. For couples without children the waiting period is 60 days, which can seem arduous, but is actually very brief when you compare it to the mandatory waiting period for couples with kids. If you do have children and you file for divorce in Michigan, the state forces you to wait a full 6 months after you file, before proceeding with your divorce.

Crazy, right!? Why do you have to wait so long?

Believe it or not, this isn’t some wild fluke in Michigan law. Most states in the U.S. have mandatory “cooling off” periods after a couple files for divorce. But don’t misunderstand this, being forced to wait doesn’t mean you’re required to sit on your hands and do nothing after you file for divorce. You can still take care of all those other issues that need to be addressed along the way. All this means is that your divorce cannot be officially granted by the court until the waiting period is over.

What can I do during the waiting period before my divorce is official?

In most cases, a divorce is more than simply filling and then parting ways. There are lots of things that need to be taken care of, and this is the time to do that. After you file, you will still need to:

  • Divide your assets so that you and your spouse know exactly who gets what when the divorce is final.
  • Figure out custody if you have kids. It’s important to have a plan in place regarding how much time will be spent with each parent after the divorce.
  • Agree on child support. If one person is going to be paying child support to the other parent, you’ll have to figure out those details before the divorce is official.
  • Address the issue of alimony. Not every divorcing couple has a spousal support agreement, but if that’s part of your divorce, then now’s the time to deal with that.
  • Get your life in order. This is a big one – you’re going to need your own bank accounts and credit cards, your own place to live, and bills in your own name. So while you wait for the court to grant your divorce, it would be time well spent to prepare yourself for your imminent single status.

As you can see, there is a lot to do!

Getting divorced isn’t a one step process. There are loads of things to do to prepare, and all kinds of issues that need your time and attention. Talk to your attorney and get an idea of what you have on your plate, and what issues should be addressed first so that your cooling off period is used productively. Here at The Kronzek Firm, our skilled and experienced family law attorneys can help you make the most of this time. So call 866 766 5245 if you’re ready to start the process, and let us help you make the most of your time.