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Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Michigan?

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Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Michigan?

07 / June 2022

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Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First in Michigan?

Are you preparing for a divorce in Michigan? You are far from alone. According to data published by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), nearly 30,000 couples file for divorce in the state each year. You may be wondering: Does it matter if I file for divorce first? 

The answer depends on the circumstances of your case. While your rights are the same regardless of who files, there may be some procedural advantages to filing first. Here, our Clinton Township divorce lawyers explain the key things to know about the order of filing for divorce in Michigan. 

The General Principle: Your Rights are the Same No Matter Who Files for Divorce

First and foremost, the general principle of filing for divorce in Michigan is as follows: Your legal rights are not dependent on who files first. In other words, there is technically no legal distinction made based on filing orders. Your property rights and parental rights are the same regardless of whether you filed for divorce or your spouse filed for divorce. 

Procedural Reality: Filing for Divorce First Can Offer Advantages in Certain Circumstances

While your rights are the same regardless of who files, the procedural reality is that there can be some benefits associated with filing for divorce first. These advantages may or may not be an issue in your specific case. Here are two potential procedural advantages of filing for divorce first in Michigan: 

  • You get to choose the jurisdiction. If your divorce can be filed in multiple counties (or multiple state) jurisdiction is generally determined based on the order of filing. 
  • You can seek immediate temporary orders. A temporary order may be important for financial reasons or for parental reasons. 

You and Your Spouse Can File for Divorce Jointly in Michigan (Uncontested Divorce)

It is also worth noting that a couple can file for divorce collectively in Michigan. Indeed, this may be the most efficient, amicable way to navigate the divorce process. Under Michigan law (Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.6), you and your spouse can file for an uncontested divorce. In doing so, you can submit a joint divorce petition called a ‘consent judgment.’ An attorney can help you with the uncontested divorce process. 

Call Our Clinton Township, MI, Divorce Attorney for Help

At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., our Michigan divorce lawyers are skilled, experienced advocates for our clients. If you have any specific questions about filing for divorce, we are here as a resource. Call us now or contact us online to arrange your strictly private case review. With an office in Clinton Township, we provide family & divorce representation throughout Southeast Michigan. 

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