You live in Macomb County. You and your ex lived together in Macomb. But your marriage is ending and he or she has moved out – and moved away. If your ex files for divorce first, guess what? Your divorce will take place in the court that has jurisdiction over their new place of residence. Before you get a divorce in Michigan, make sure you know where that divorce will be heard.
Divorce is complicated enough without it being held in a completely inconvenient place. That’s why jurisdiction is such a critical part of any divorce case. Jurisdiction refers to the court that will be hearing your divorce case. In Michigan, all divorce cases are heard in the circuit court of the county where the person who files for divorce resides.
Meeting Residency Requirements
Now, your ex can’t simply rent a hotel room all the way in Mason County (or another state of the union) and file for divorce in that jurisdiction that day. Residency requirements must be met, and that means:
- The person who files for divorce must be a Michigan resident for at least 180 days.
- One or both spouses must be a resident of county in which a divorce is filed for at least 10 days prior to the filing.
- Whatever court your divorce case begins in, that is where it will end, even if someone moves far away.
Jurisdiction by Spite
Jurisdiction is usually only a concern for someone who has moved recently, plans to move soon, or worries that their soon-to-be ex will be picking up roots and going elsewhere. Certainly, it’s happened that a household separates and one-half of a couple moves their life to another Michigan county – and then they file for divorce.
Sometimes people who can’t decide if they should file first for a divorce find themselves caught when their ex, who is in an inconvenient location, files first. When jurisdiction is in any way a question or variable, it is always smart to file first and keep the divorce proceedings where they are convenient for you.
Jurisdiction may not seem like a big deal right now, but you don’t want to be forced to rearrange your life to make it to a hearing. Your job, your kids, your obligations – you’re already managing a new existence on your own with your ex out of the house. The last thing you want to do is include travel time and all the inconveniences of having to show up in a different jurisdiction to ride out your divorce case.
Make Sure Your Michigan Divorce Happens Where You Want It To
Where you live matters when it comes to divorce. That’s why you want a divorce lawyer who can guide you on all the major decision-making you will have to do throughout your proceedings. Jurisdiction not only affects where your divorce takes place, it plays a role in the court’s determination of child custody and parenting time too. Contact Femminineo Attorneys PLLC in Mount Clemens for your initial consultation with an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer.