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Residency requirements for divorce in Michigan

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Divorce |

If you want to end your marriage, you should understand that there is a residency requirement that must be met before filing for divorce. This requirement states that at least one of the parties involved in the divorce must have been a resident of Michigan for at least six months before filing for divorce.

This means that either you or your spouse must have lived in Michigan for a minimum of six months before initiating the divorce proceedings.


The purpose of this residency requirement is to ensure that the state has jurisdiction over the divorce case. Jurisdiction refers to the state’s authority to make decisions regarding the divorce, such as dividing property, determining child custody and awarding alimony. By establishing a residency requirement, Michigan ensures that only those with significant ties to the state can seek a divorce there. In addition, the Michigan Legislature states that either party must have lived in the county that the divorce complaint is filed in for at least 10 days right before the filing.

Meeting the residency requirement is important because failing to do so can result in your case being dismissed by the court. If you attempt to file for divorce in Michigan without meeting the six-month residency rule, your case may not be heard, and you would have to start over once you fulfill the requirement.


While the general rule is that one party must reside in Michigan for six months before filing for divorce, there are exceptions to this requirement. In cases where both parties agree to the jurisdiction of Michigan courts or if the cause of action (reason for divorce) arose in Michigan, the residency rule may be waived.

Before seeking a divorce in Michigan, it is necessary to ensure that you or your spouse meets the residency requirement of residing in the state for at least six months. Failure to meet this requirement can lead to complications and delays in your divorce proceedings.