The divorce process – the basics and the nitty gritty details

The formal Michigan divorce process – Divorce Steps:  In Michigan, a divorce follows a formal process.  It is important to note that a case can settle at any time during the divorce process. The statutory waiting period for a divorce with  and our Michigan divorce attorneys understand the steps and can help you navigate the process without turbulence.  The divorce steps for a Michigan divorce are as follows:


The Michigan Divorce Process – The Basics.

The divorce process can be described in five basic steps.

  1. File the Complaint for Divorce / Ex Parte Orders;
  2. Service of Process / Answer the Complaint / Counterclaim;
  3. Conduct Discovery;
  4. Negotiate or Mediate; and
  5. Trial or Arbitration

Most Michigan divorce cases settle before trial. A case can settle at any time during the divorce process. The statutory waiting period for a divorce without minor children is 60 days and 180 days with minor children. Most divorce cases (with and without children) are completed in six months or less. Complex cases may take longer.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”The BASIC Divorce Process”]

The Michigan Divorce Process – The nitty gritty details.

Before exploring the nitty gritty details of the Michigan divorce process it is important to have an understanding of the following terms:

Complaint for divorce:  The formal divorce lawsuit which is filed with the court.

Counterclaim for divorce:  A counterclaim for divorce is a lawsuit against the party who filed first.

Ex Parte Orders:  Optional Orders submitted with the complaint. Typically to preserve property and maintain the financial status quo during the divorce process.

Service of process:  Placing your spouse on legal notice of the divorce. Typically by a process server. Service must be completed within 90 days of filing the complaint.

Conduct discovery: The process of “discovering” the nature and extent of the marital estate and contested issues.  (e.g. Interrogatories, Subpoenas and Depositions)

Mediation: A facilitated settlement meeting with a neutral 3rd party.

Settlement Conference:  A court appearance where the court may try to facilitate settlement if mediation was unsuccessful.

Trial / Arbitration:  A Trial is before a Judge. Arbitration is before a private judge. Parties must agree to arbitration and the right to appeal is limited.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”The DETAILED Divorce Process”]

The Michigan Divorce Process Video – the nitty gritty details.

About Findling Law

Findling Law, PLC – 414 W. 5th St. Royal Oak, Michigan 48067

Phone:+1 (248) 399-3300
After hours emergency?+1 (707) 968-7347


I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

By:  Daniel Findling

change custody

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Call Now Button