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Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce State.  This does NOT mean a Court won’t consider fault when determining property division or alimony.  It simply means you do not have to “prove” that you should be allowed to get a divorce.  To request a divorce in Michigan, you state in the Complaint for Divorce that: “there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed, and there remains no reasonable likelihood the marriage can be preserved.”  Michigan is NOT a “common law marriage” State.  For example, if you and your husband lived together in Michigan as boyfriend and girlfriend for 10 years before getting married, and then you are married for the next 7 years, a Court will only look at the 7 years of marriage when determining alimony, not the previous 10 years as boyfriend and girlfriend.

After filing the Complaint for Divorce, Michigan has a mandatory “waiting period” of at least 60 days before you can finalize the case.  If the parties have minor children together, the “waiting period” is six months.  However, many Judges will waive that longer period if the parties can resolve all their open issues before the six months are up.

When it comes to dividing property, the general rule is to equally (50/50) split those assets and debts that were accumulated during the marriage.  However, there are many exceptions to that rule.  For example, if you inherit $50,000.00 from your uncle during your marriage, but you keep that inheritance in a separate bank account in your name only, most Courts will treat the inheritance as “separate property.”  If your husband or wife ran up a large credit card debt during the marriage, but the charges were for gambling that you never participated in nor condoned, then that debt will likely be the sole responsibility of the gambling spouse.

After a divorce case has been started, if the parties cannot agree on issues like custody or alimony, then a Court will usually order the parties to “Mediation.”  Mediation is a process where a neutral third party (almost always a specially-trained Family Law Lawyer) serves as a “referee” between the parties and their lawyers to try and settle the case.  Mediation is FAR cheaper and quicker than a full-blown Trial; it can be an extremely cost-effective and efficient way to resolve a divorce.

Once the case has settled, or after Trial, a Judgment of Divorce is prepared.  The Judgment of Divorce is an extremely important document.  It confirms custody, parenting time and support of the children (if any minor children are involved), and it specifies the award of assets and alimony (if applicable), and it itemizes the division of debts.

Attorney Matt Catchick has concentrated in Divorce Law for over 17 years.  His dedication to his clients and his real-world experience as a proud parent will provide you with the best possible legal representation.  Call or e-mail Matt today for a free initial office consultation to discuss how Matt can help you succeed during this extremely difficult and stressful time.

Catchick Law, PC. Personal service. Proven results.


(248) 606-5522

29829 Greenfield Road, Suite 101
Southfield, MI 48076

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Matt Catchick

Attorney Matt Catchick founded Catchick Law, PC to provide the highest levels of client service and legal representation in the areas of Divorce and Family Law, Criminal Defense, Driver License Restoration, and Traffic Tickets.
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