Do It Yourself: Uncontested Divorce in Michigan

By Christine Funk, J.D.

Do It Yourself: Uncontested Divorce in Michigan

By Christine Funk, J.D.

In Michigan, a person can represent themselves in any divorce proceeding. If the divorce is uncontested, one can simply file the proper forms online (along with the requisite fee). An uncontested divorce refers to a divorce where the couple is in agreement on all issues related to the divorce. This includes division of all assets, debts, child custody, child support, and alimony.

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After determining the intended divorce qualifies as uncontested, a person can follow these steps to complete the filing process in Michigan.

1. Gather relevant information and forms.

Michigan offers forms for people to fill out in preparation for filing for divorce. There are two forms: Divorce with Minor Children Worksheet (DM Worksheet) and Divorce without Minor Children Worksheet (DO Worksheet). These worksheets include detailed checklists of all the information needed to properly fill out the divorce forms. Topics covered include:

  • Information about prior court cases, including prior divorces, paternity, personal protection orders, child support, child custody, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, and termination of parental rights.
  • Information about the couple, including full names, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, military service, employment, health care coverage, and public assistance benefits
  • Marriage and family information, including date of marriage, location of marriage, separation dates, pregnancy, addresses for the past five years, and parenting and custody agreements as well as the full names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers for any children
  • Information about all property and debts

There are also forms with sample parenting time schedules for couples planning on joint custody, parents of school aged children, parents of children not in school, and parents who live long distance. These are intended to give couples an idea of different parenting time schedules used by others. They may be modified to fit the needs of any family.

2. Create an account on Michigan's LawHelp Interactive website.

After gathering all the relevant data, the applicant can create an account on Michigan's LawHelp Interactive website. Depending on how much information must be entered, Michigan estimates this takes between 30 and 90 minutes. There is the option for an applicant to save their work and return at a later time. The process is broken into sections.

3. Enter relevant information.

One simply enters the relevant information gathered according to the checklist. Some of the information sought is answered in the form of clicking buttons for "yes" or "no." For example, applicants will be asked, "Do you have pending divorce case with this spouse in any court?" The process also informs applicants of relevant laws. For example, applicants are informed:

Michigan law requires you to testify that there has been a breakdown of the marriage to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that your marriage can be preserved. This means that there has been a serious, permanent marital breakdown. It means it is very unlikely that you and your spouse can work things out.

Applicants are then asked, "Has there been a breakdown of the marriage. . . "

4. File forms.

Once the applicant answers all the questions and supplies all the information, the program creates the forms necessary to file for divorce. File these forms, along with the requisite copies, with the clerk of court in the county of the applicant's residence and pay the filing fee.

If you meet the above criteria, and want to file for an uncontested divorce in Michigan, you can follow these steps. For additional guidance, you can visit Michigan's LawHelp Interactive website for the applicable forms and instructions on how to complete them.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.