Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, so it is natural to think that there is not a lot of documentation associated with it when you file. Unfortunately, that is not true. There are plenty of documents involved in any divorce, and they can quickly become confusing and overwhelming. This is just one reason why, when you are considering filing for divorce, you should speak to an attorney that can walk you through the steps, and help you create the many documents involved.
Every single divorce in Michigan starts with the Summons and Complaint. This document states that the marital relationship has broken down so severely that the two of you are unlikely to reconcile. This document also informs your spouse of his or her rights, such as the right to respond to the Complaint within 21 days.
If you and your spouse have already agreed to the divorce and to all terms, such as child custody, you then only need to file the Marital Settlement Agreement. If the two of you have already reached this point by the time you create the Summons and Complaint, the Marital Settlement Agreement can be included within it. This document is then filed with the court, which must approve the agreement.
If your spouse does not respond to the Complaint, you can then file a Default Request, Affidavit, Entry, and Judgment. This allows the judge to enter a divorce judgment without the other spouse being present or part of the proceedings.
If your spouse does respond to the Complaint, you will receive an Answer and Waiver form. This will inform you of his or her response and, if he or she has provided a waiver, a statement saying the sheriff does not need to serve him or her with paperwork.
This document simply states that your spouse is not part of the military.
After your case proceeds to court, you then need to send a Notice of Hearing to your spouse. This will outline the date, time, and place of the divorce hearing to your spouse. Like all of the documents that will make up your divorce, an attorney can prepare this Notice for you to ensure that it contains all of the necessary information and that it complies with the laws of the state.
If there are children involved in your divorce, you will need two other documents. These are the Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act Affidavit and the IV-D Child Support Services Application/Referral forms.
Even in the most amicable divorces, there is a lot of paperwork that can be overwhelming. At Iafrate & Salassa, PC, our Oakland County divorce lawyers will help you draft the necessary paperwork, ensure that it is filed correctly and that you understand it, too. If you are considering divorce, call us today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. We make the divorce process easier and helping with the many necessary documents is just one way we do it.
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