If you are considering getting a divorce in Michigan, one of the questions that may arise is how much it will cost. There is no doubt about it: Divorce is a difficult and emotionally challenging process.
And while focusing on your peace of mind and well-being, it’s also important to understand the financial implications of divorce. Who knows, if the issues causing the divorce are not worth it, you might reconsider your position.
As with any other process, you would want to know how much it would cost you so that you can budget for it and proceed or wait till you have enough funds. In the context of divorce,
How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Michigan?
On average, the cost of divorce in Michigan is around $4000. However, this figure can change depending on the case’s circumstances.
If no children are involved, the divorce cost can range between $ 2,500 and $ 5,000. On the other hand, if children are involved, the cost can increase significantly from $14000 to $18000.
To better understand the divorce price in Michigan, let’s look at different divorce types and how much each will cost you.
Case 1: Uncontested Divorce Cost
An uncontested divorce is where both parties involved in the divorce agree on all the terms and conditions.
The couples mutually resolve issues such as division of assets, child custody, and spousal support before going to the court for the judge to sign off.
An uncontested divorce typically costs between $ 1,000 and $ 1,500 for the entire process. This fee includes filing fees, paper serving services, expert services, and other administrative costs.
Case 2: Contested Divorce Cost
In a contested divorce, the spouses cannot agree on important issues such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support.
A contested divorce can be up to 10 times more expensive than an uncontested divorce.
The cost may be as high as $ 10,000. The expenses associated with hiring attorneys, court fees, and expert witnesses can quickly add up, making it a financially burdensome option.
Case 3: Divorce Cost Without A Lawyer
In some cases, couples may file for divorce without the assistance of a lawyer. It’s a relatively easy process, particularly when both parties have agreed on the terms of their divorce.
By opting for a DIY divorce, couples can significantly reduce the cost associated with hiring a lawyer. Instead, they would only need to pay specific fees related to the divorce process.
For instance, the filing fee is typically $175 if no children are involved or $225 if there are children. Additionally, there may be a serving fee ranging from $45 to $75 and a motion filing fee of $20.
A DIY divorce is cheaper than hiring a lawyer, with average costs typically less than $800.
Case 5: Online Divorce Cost
Online divorce is ideal for those seeking a quick and affordable solution to end their marriage.
It offers convenience and ease of use, allowing couples to complete the divorce process in less than 15 minutes without requiring lengthy court proceedings.
Also, several law firms in Michigan offer online divorce services, so picking one should be easy.
Depending on the county, the filing fee can vary between $175 and $250. This fee covers the cost of filing the necessary paperwork with the court.
How Much Is A Divorce Lawyer In Michigan?
Most lawyers in Michigan charge their clients on an hourly basis. The rates for these services can vary greatly, typically between $100 and $500 per hour.
However, this is just a general range, and the actual rate may differ depending on the specific circumstances of your case. In addition to the hourly rate, many divorce lawyers in Michigan will require a retainer fee.
This upfront payment secures the lawyer’s services and covers any initial costs of your case.
The retainer can vary greatly, ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. The specific amount will depend on the complexity and nature of your case.
Some divorce lawyers in Michigan may offer a flat fee option, particularly if your divorce is uncontested.
It can be a more cost-effective option for those who have reached an agreement with their spouse and simply need legal assistance to finalize the divorce.
What Affects The Cost Of Divorce In Michigan?
Two main factors determine the cost of divorce in Michigan. One of the main factors is the type of divorce, whether it is contested or uncontested.
A contested divorce often requires more time and effort from the lawyers involved, which makes it more expensive due to the increased legal fees and court costs. On the contrary, uncontested divorce is less costly as it requires less time and resources from the lawyers.
Also, when minors are involved in a divorce, additional legal considerations include child custody arrangements, child support payments, and visitation rights.
These matters require extra time and effort from the lawyers, which can result in higher legal fees.
Additionally, suppose there are disputes over child custody or support. In that case, it may be necessary to involve experts such as psychologists or child advocates, further increasing the overall cost of the divorce.
Can A Divorce Fee Be Waivered In Michigan?
Yes, you can waive a divorce fee in Michigan under certain circumstances. You will automatically qualify for a waiver if you receive public benefits and have a DHS case number.
It ensures that those facing financial hardship do not have to bear the additional burden of paying a divorce fee.
At the same time, if you cannot raise money to pay the divorce fee, you can apply to waive the fee.
You must submit an application to the court explaining your financial situation and proof of your inability to pay. The court will review your application and decide whether or not to grant the waiver.
Sometimes, the court may order the partner with more financial resources to pay the fee to not burden the financially disadvantaged partner with the entire fee. Factors such as income, assets, and earning potential will be considered before determining.
What Is The Process Of Filling A Divorce In Michigan?
Step 1: confirm your eligibility
To file for a divorce, you must reside in the state for a minimum of 180 days and in the specific county where the case is being filed for at least 10 days.
Additionally, a waiting period must be adhered to before the divorce finalization. For couples without children, it is a minimum of 60 days. Where children are involved, the waiting period extends to 180 days.
Step 2: File a divorce complain
The divorce is initiated by a written legal document called a complaint. The person who writes the complaint will be the plaintiff and the other spouse, the defender.
Step 3: Answer to the complaint
After filing and serving the complaint and summons, the defendant has 21 days (28 if served by mail or out of state) to respond. A default may be entered if they don’t respond, leading to an uncontested case.
Step 4: A temporary order is issued
Temporary Order establishes child custody, financial arrangements, and asset handling during the proceedings. It’s decided through a hearing or mutual agreement, addressing custody, support, spousal support, asset protection, and property possession.
Step 5: Discovery
Your lawyers assess potential disputes, gather facts via investigation and discovery (interrogatories, document requests, depositions), and may involve experts like appraisers.
Step 6: Negotiations begin
Following discovery, the attorney addresses the client’s objectives and initiates settlement talks.
Written proposals may be exchanged, and an informal settlement meeting between parties and attorneys may occur for issue resolution without court involvement. If an agreement is reached, its terms can be documented and signed.
Step 7: Mediation
Mediation can involve lawyers; it is non-binding and aims to settle issues outside court, which is cost-effective. Typically, both parties share mediator costs.
Step 8: Court Appearance
Attorneys represent parties at motion hearings and settlement conferences. Some motions might be delegated to a court-appointed referee with specific authority in divorce matters. A referee’s decision can be contested before the judge within 21 days.
Step 9: Schedule of settlement conference
The court schedules a formal settlement conference for both parties. Attorneys can meet the judge separately for informal decisions.
If an agreement is reached, terms are recorded before the judge, becoming binding. This doesn’t finalize the divorce; a written judgment signed by the judge is needed.
Step 10: Final Judgment
The Judgment of Divorce is the conclusive legal decree that finalizes the divorce, addressing custody, support, property division, and spousal support.
Parties review, consult with attorneys, and sign it before submission to the court. Separate orders cover child and spousal support obligations.
The cost of a divorce in Michigan varies depending on various factors. The average cost of a divorce in Michigan ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.
But this can increase significantly if complex issues are involved, such as child custody disputes or property division.
If you are going through a divorce, consult an experienced family law attorney for guidance and representation.