Complete Guide to Michigan Divorce - What You Can Expect
The following are the 12 basic steps in a Michigan divorce. This is a general guide to the divorce process in the entire state of Michigan. Due to the facts of your case, there may be additional steps or some of the steps may be avoided. If you have any questions, please call us at (248) 584-0400 or check out our common divorce terminology page.
1. The first step is to file a Complaint for Divorce.
2. The person filing the Complaint is identified legally as the Plaintiff.
3. In a divorce involving minor children, you will also have to sign a Verified Statement.
4. Along with the Complaint, Ex Parte Orders may be entered.
5. After the Complaint for Divorce is filed, it must be served on the spouse, along with any Ex Parte Orders.
6. Once the Complaint for Divorce is served upon the spouse, he or she has 21 days to file an Answer with the court.
7. In Oakland County divorce cases involving minor children, there is an appearance at the Friend of the Court, which is scheduled 56 days after the Complaint is filed.
After the completion of the EIC, the parties will attend a session of the SMILE program. SMILE stands for Start Making It Livable for Everyone and is a program designed to assist parents in minimizing the impact of the divorce on the children.
Parties in divorce cases with minor children in Macomb County will also attend the SMILE program and in Wayne County, the parties will have to attend the Kids First program. In Macomb and Wayne Counties, the Friend of the Court will provide a number of dates for the SMILE/Kids First programs for parents to choose from. For a small fee, parents in Wayne County can view the SMILE program on the internet.