Types of Divorce in Michigan: Collaborative, Uncontested, and Contested Divorces

Getting a divorce can be a stressful, lengthy process for all involved. Here, we share the details about the different types of divorces in Michigan. It helps to know all your legal options.

What is an uncontested divorce?

In an uncontested divorce, you and your ex-partner will settle the dissolution of your marriage out of court and without significant legal assistance. You don’t need a trial with this type of divorce because you will work with your ex to resolve property matters, financial accounts, child custody, and other issues. Instead, you’ll create agreements for your situation with only minor assistance from lawyers or mediators.

This type of divorce moves along faster and saves on the cost and hassle of extensive litigation. Uncontested divorces are best for families who have already addressed the main divorce issues and are ready to move on.

What is a collaborative divorce?

A collaborative divorce is similar to an uncontested divorce, but lawyers or mediators are involved in the negotiation and settlement process. In a collaborative divorce, each side hires a lawyer who helps negotiate the agreement cooperatively.

During the process, the couple and their lawyers often work with divorce coaches or mediators to help resolve issues and reach a settlement. The collaborative divorce process is a significantly faster and less expensive way to dissolve a marriage.

However, the collaboration must cease if one party uses or threatens to use the court system in negotiations, and as a result, it will often become a contested divorce.

What is a contested divorce?

When a couple can’t agree on issues related to their settlement, their divorce becomes a contested divorce. The case is filed in court, each spouse hires an attorney, and the attorneys will negotiate and collect evidence for their court appearances and eventual trial. Once the case is scheduled for trial, it will take several days. A judge will make the final decision on each issue in the divorce.

There are several reasons to contest a divorce. These include disagreements over the division of assets and property, spousal support, child support and custody, and prenuptial agreements. A contested divorce is often the most lengthy and expensive of the typical types of divorce.

How long does the average divorce take in Michigan?

The length of your divorce depends on various factors, including the type of divorce and whether you have children.

An uncontested divorce in Michigan usually takes 4-8 months. A collaborative divorce process often takes between two and nine months. A contested divorce can last many months to over a year before it is settled.

For couples without children, most divorces take between 60 days and nine months to resolve. If children are involved, these divorces usually take six months to a year to settle.

Talk to the experienced family law attorneys at JAD Law

No matter the type of divorce proceeding, you need an experienced family lawyer to advocate for you. JAD Law is here to help. Contact JAD Law today to schedule an appointment.

JAD Law serves several counties across Metro Detroit, Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.