How Does Michigan Compare to Other States when Filing for Divorce?

According to an August 6, 2014 ABC News article, some states are worse than others in terms of filing for divorce. The top 7 worst states for divorce are as follows:

In Nebraska, the State requires a filing fee of $157.00 and 420 days to process the divorce. A year’s residency is required, which is followed by a two-month cooling off period. People in Nebraska tend to get married around 26-years-old, and on average, the marriages last almost 23 years.

New York:
Not only does New York require a $335.00 filing fee, but the minimum processing time is 360 days. Until 2010, New York also required fault to file for divorce; however, they have now joined 49 other states in allowing no-fault divorce. New York requires a “breakdown period” of six months, but no physical separation.

California has a whopping $395.00 filing fee, and requires 360 days to process the case. California was the first no-fault divorce state, starting the trend in 1970. The state also requires a six-month cooling off period after filing.

Arkansas has a filing fee of $165.00. Arkansas has a minimum processing time of 540 days – the longest processing time in the country. There is also a mandatory 18-month period of separation and any co-habitation during that period will reset the clock.

South Carolina:
Requires a minimum of one-year separation before filing for divorce. Residency of three months is required, if both parties live in the state. If only one party lives in the state, then the residency extends to one year.

Rhode Island:
The filing fee in Rhode Island is $120.00. The processing time, however, is 510 days. Even after filing there is a five-month cool down period. Rhode Island has a low marriage rate, low divorce rate, and an almost 30 median age at first marriage.

Couples must live completely apart during the mandated six-month separation period. A year’s residency is required before the divorce will be granted, and then there is a three-month period to go through before the judge’s approval is absolute.

In comparison, Michigan provides a much smoother divorce process. In Michigan, the filing fee for a divorce without children is $150.00. The filing fee for a divorce with children is $230.00. Michigan requires that one party live in the State for 180 days, and live in the county for which the case was filed for at least 10 days, prior to filing. The Michigan statutory waiting period for couples without children is 60 days from the date of filing. For couples with children, the statutory waiting period is six-months; however, the six-month waiting period can be shortened to 60 days in certain situations. Overall, Michigan provides a relatively short divorce process, depending on the parties’ cooperation.

If you are considering filing for divorce, contact the attorneys at Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates at (586) 264-3756.

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