Filing for divorce can be pricey because of filing fees and attorney fees. In Michigan, however, you can file for divorce by yourself and petition the court to waive the filing fees. It isn't absolutely required that you retain an attorney to file for divorce, but an attorney knows the law and will represent your interests. You will need uncontested divorce forms and an application for indigent status. The earliest your divorce can be finalized is 60 days after you file.
To file for divorce, either you or your spouse need to have lived in Michigan for at least 180 days and you or your spouse must have lived in the county where you want to file for at least 10 days. Complete a petition for an uncontested divorce, which is the least expensive divorce. The petition asks for the names and addresses of both spouses, and the reason for divorce. You can find these forms at your local county clerk's office. Once you have finished the paperwork, give these forms to your county clerk. You will need to wait 60 days before the judge can rule your divorce final. Keep all paperwork about the ruling.
Getting Free Legal Help
If you want free legal help, make an appointment with the nearest legal aid office. Getting legal help at no cost depends on your financial situation. Ask a friend to serve your spouse, which will save you the fee of paying someone to serve your spouse. You must prove that your spouse was served, so get a notarized statement from your friend. Often, the bank will notarize for free. Instruct your spouse not to answer the service, so that your divorce remains uncontested. For an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must also agree on custody and financial issues.
Filing for Indigent Status
You will need to prove to the court that your spouse was served. To do this, file for indigent status with the courts so you don't have to pay court costs. Indigent status is based on income and job situation. Complete any information the county court requests. The application for indigent status will ask for information about your financial status, so be sure to make copies of your pay stubs and tax return.