Common Michigan Divorce Questions

So you have decided to proceed with a divorce, but have some specific questions before moving forward. Below is a list of common questions clients have when starting or during the divorce process. Hopefully, these answers will ease your anxieties about your family law situation. If not please feel free to email me further questions or call ArborYpsi Law for a free consultation.

Can I move to another state with minor children during a divorce in Michigan?

No. Once the divorce process begins the court has jurisdiction over the children. This means moving minor children out of the state requires permission from the judge. Once the divorce is complete you can not move minor children out of the state without permission from the judge. This will always be the case until the minor children reach 18 years of age or older.

How long do I have to be married to receive alimony?

Spousal support will depend on several factors. The main factor is whether one party forfeited a career or form of revenue to support the other party. For example, a wife stays home with the children, unable to pursue a career, while her husband works a full-time job. The longer a couple is married the better case one party has for a larger monthly alimony payment. Another factor includes each party’s education. For example, a college education can be imperative to securing a job that pays the bills. If one party does not have a college education or way to provide for themselves this can increase the alimony amount. Income disparity is another factor to consider. If one party can only make minimum wage working a full-time job and the other party makes six figures this will clearly impact the alimony settlement. Lastly, number of children is another factor to take into account. The more children involved can increase the spousal support.

How long does the divorce process take in Michigan?

The fastest a couple can divorce is 60 days minimum by law no matter what circumstances present. When there are minor children involved the time period for divorce is 6 months. However, the 6 month time period can be waived by the judge if there is a compelling reason. A compelling reason could be that one party is going off to war and will not be around for future divorce proceedings.

Will extra martial affairs impact my divorce settlement?

Not necessarily. Michigan is a no-fault state so technically speaking an affair on either side should not matter in the divorce proceedings. However, sometimes fault can be used in a property division. Keep in mind while your situation may be upsetting and disturbing to you a judge hears divorce cases along with abuse and murder cases on a regular basis. Therefore, the judge may have a different perspective on your divorce case. They may not place emotion in their decision if an extra martial affair is part of the equation.

How is the martial property disbursed in a divorce in Michigan?

For the most part all property in a divorce is split up 50/50. Exceptions include alimony and separate property that came before the marriage. In the case of a martial home there are two options to split the property. The first option is either both parties can decide to sell the home and then split the proceeds and liabilities. The other option is one party can choose to stay in the home and pay the other party their 50% share of the home.

Who gets the pet in a divorce in Michigan?

Technically speaking a pet is a form of property. That being said a pet can not literally be split in half. Therefore, agreements can be made between both parties to have, “joint custody,” of the pet. Agreements can also be made describing who is responsible for vet fees, medications, boarding fees, grooming fees, etc.

How much does it cost to get a divorce in Michigan?

Every divorce is different so therefore there is no set number for all. In order to obtain a clear picture of what your divorce will cost we have to take into account several factors: number of children, number of homes, debts, number of stocks and 401ks, and whether or not the divorce will be highly contested. If you have an uncontested divorce where both parties are in agreement with the divorce terms we can quote a flat rate.

Divorce is a big decision that comes along with a lot of stress and anxiety. At ArborYpsi Law, divorce lawyer Sam Bernstein will advocate for you until the very end. Our goal is to make your divorce as stress free as possible while getting you the results you want. 

Call us

Call Sam Bernstein at 734-883-9584 or e-mail at

Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer.

ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

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