Divorce Pre-Filing Information—Frequently Asked Questions

Gather information such as financial documents to give to your attorney before filing for divorce.

If one is considering the filing of a divorce, one must have all information, particularly financial information, ready to present to your attorney in the first several conferences. Further, it may also be appropriate, with the advice of your attorney, to consider separating your financial situation from your spouse's for the purpose of protecting assets.

To file a complaint for divorce, a person must have resided in the State of Michigan for 180 days, and in the county where the case is filed for a period of 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint. The person who files the complaint is called the "plaintiff," and the person against whom it is filed is called the "defendant." There is no particular advantage in being either the plaintiff or the defendant, except perhaps to gain jurisdiction where the parties live in separate counties. If there are no minor children, a judgment of divorce finalizing the case may not be entered for a minimum of 60 days. If there are minor children of the marriage, there is a minimum waiting period of 6 months before finalization. As will be discussed later, divorce judgments are not automatically entered at the end of the waiting period, as a number of factors may make this waiting period longer than the legal minimum. These factors include the court docket, unresolved issues between the parties and attorneys, and attorneys' schedules.

Continue to the Filing Process