Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Is There a Benefit to Filing for Divorce First in Michigan?

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County divorce attorney

If the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down, you may be considering ending your marriage. However, even if you believe that divorce is what is best for your family, you may be unsure about what will happen during the divorce process. One question that many spouses have is whether being the first to file for divorce will provide them with any advantages. By understanding the divorce laws in Michigan and the type of divorce you are planning to pursue, you can determine whether you should file for divorce sooner rather than later.

Filing for Divorce in Michigan

The divorce process begins when one spouse files a divorce complaint in their county’s circuit court. Since Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, the complaint will not need to specify specific grounds for divorce or a reason your marriage ended. Instead, you will simply need to allege that your marital relationship has broken down “to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed” and that it is not likely that you will be able to preserve your marriage. Since a divorce complaint will not blame either spouse for the end of the marriage, this may eliminate the need to be the first to file, since neither of you will need to show that the other is at fault for your divorce.

If you expect to have an uncontested divorce in which you will work together with your spouse to reach a divorce settlement, or if you expect to resolve divorce issues through mediation, you will probably not need to worry about filing for divorce first. Rather than approaching your divorce from an adversarial perspective, you may want to cooperate and compromise whenever possible, so rushing to the courthouse and surprising your spouse with a divorce complaint and summons may not be the best approach to take.

However, there are some cases where filing for divorce first can provide some benefits, including in cases where you expect to encounter disputes with your spouse. By filing the initial complaint, you can make sure your divorce case will be heard in the county where you live, which can be beneficial if you and your spouse no longer live together. In addition, when you initially file your divorce complaint, you may ask the judge to issue Ex Parte orders. These orders will create temporary arrangements for how certain matters will be addressed during your divorce, and once they are issued, your spouse will have 14 days to object to them. If you expect to receive child support or spousal support during your divorce, or if you want to address issues such as exclusive possession of your marital home, filing for divorce first can make sure these Ex Parte orders will be put in place.

Contact Our Novi, MI Divorce Lawyers

If you are considering divorce, the lawyers of Elkouri Heath, PLC can advise you on the best approach to take, and we will provide you with legal help and representation throughout the divorce process. With our assistance, you can make sure your rights will be protected, and you can work to achieve your goals and be prepared for success once your divorce is complete. To arrange a free consultation with our dedicated Farmington Hills divorce attorneys, contact us today by calling 248-344-9700.





Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top