Michigan No Fault Divorce

No Fault Divorce

Legal Grounds for Divorce

A divorce is the termination of a marriage or marital union, thus dismissing the legal duties and responsibilities of the marriage.  Michigan is considered a no-fault divorce state.  A no-fault divorce refers to the type of divorce in which the spouse that is filing does not have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse.  Allegations of abuse, cruelty, adultery, or abandonment do not need to exist in the relationship.  All that is required in Michigan is for one party to allege that “there has been a breakdown of the marital relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved” (MCL 552.6).  The most common reason given is “irreconcilable differences.”

Although Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, this does not mean that fault is not considered in any issues addressed in the divorce proceeding.  The court may still consider fault when determining issues related to alimony, child support, and the division of property.

For more information on how we can help, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

No Fault Divorce Requirements
  1. Residency: To file for a divorce in Michigan, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least the last 180 days. MCL 552.9
  2. Jurisdiction: Your divorce must be filed in the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse has lived for at least the last 10 days. You may only file in any Michigan county regardless of how long you or your spouse lived there if the following conditions are met and are included in your complaint for divorce: your spouse was born in a country other than the United States or is a citizen of another country; you and your spouse have a minor child; and there is a risk that the defendant will take the minor child out of the United States to a different country and keep them there. MCL 552.9
  3. Waiting Period: The court must observe a “cooling off” period before granting a divorce. If your case does not involve minor children, the divorce cannot be finalized for a minimum of 60 days.  If your case involves minor children, the divorce cannot be finalized for a minimum of 6 months.  MCL 552.9(f)
Other Options to a No Fault Divorce:

Annulment: An annulment is a court decision that a marriage did not occur.  Annulments are difficult to obtain and only granted in limited situations.  This includes bigamy, incapacity, kinship, under age, and fraud/duress.

Separate Maintenance: An action for separate maintenance is commonly referred to as a “legal separation.”  This is filed by a married couple who wishes to separate from each other without filing for a divorce. This is normally done due to religious objection to divorce or to continue health care benefits for both parties.

If you need assistance with obtaining a No Fault Divorce, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

For information on specific family law issues please see:

Looking for a Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney? We can help.

Has the State of Michigan made it difficult for you to obtain a divorce?  Previously it was difficult to obtain a same sex divorce in this state.  This was because couples would generally marry in another state and move back to Michigan.  However, since Michigan recognized gay marriages as void ad initio, they would not consider there to be jurisdiction to issue a divorce.  This left people with the option to set up residency in other states in order to qualify to file for divorce jurisdictionally, which takes 60-90 days and an intent to reside there indefinitely.

Fortunately for these couples, the recent United States Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges mandated that all state governments recognize gay marriage.  This is not only good for unmarried gay couples in Michigan, as they now have that option, but also for gay couples trying to legally obtain a divorce without jumping through legal hoops and disrupting their lives and those of their children.

Divorce is always a last resort, but for some families it is simply the only option and often what’s best for both parents to keep a healthy relationship with the children.  The previous process was abusive to couples seeking a divorce not only because of the difficulty of attempting to claim residency elsewhere, or incredibly long period of time it took to do so, but the strain on the personal lives of everyone involved and the damage done to a relationship that could have been maintained on good terms the process were more civil.

The difficulty of the process was the product of legal technicalities and inconsistencies.  A couple getting divorced can only do so through the state government of which they claim residency.  If a gay couple were married in another state and then moved to Michigan, their residency would change to Michigan but the state would not recognize their marriage because the state constitution forbade it.  Because the state did not recognize their marriage, they could not issue a divorce because technically the marriage didn’t exist.  This is what would force couples to claim residency elsewhere, a process that can have a tremendous strain on the personal, professional, and family lives of those involved.

However, this is no longer the case.  Now that the State of Michigan recognizes gay marriages, they also will issue divorces for those couples with no other option.  Although the process has become easier, it is still important for those seeking divorce to obtain an attorney.  Divorce law can be difficult to navigate, and it is vital to a party to have an experienced attorney guiding you through the process.  If you are facing a divorce in the State of Michigan,

Looking for a Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney? If you need assistance in these or any area of other family law, read below for more info, call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

For information on specific family law issues please see:


Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of theft. More specifically, embezzlement is financial fraud, an example of this would be a financial advisor who embezzle the funds of his investors. The act of embezzlement is normally a premeditated act that is methodically performed since the embezzler needs to cover their tracks. In order to remain undetected, embezzlers might take small sums throughout the years. While embezzlement can be seen as a clear-cut case, the act of embezzlement can be broken down.

Breaking Down the Crime

In the U.S., embezzlement is a statutory offense and the definition of the crime of embezzlement varies according to the given statue. The criminal elements of embezzlement can range from fraudulent to Lawful possession. Here is the breakdown of each element:

Troy Embezzlement Lawyer

Entrusting your property to someone else should not mean that it gets stolen out from under you. If you have had your assets embezzled then it is time to hire a lawyer. At Garmo & Kiste, we have lawyers experienced in embezzlement cases to make sure you get the justice you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us at (248)398-7100.

What Constitutes Prostitution?

The practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other means which benefits you, is illegal in the state of Michigan. The law prohibits both the practice and participation of the act. Which is why many who do practice it tend to do so in secret, but there are times when police catch wind of such activity and go undercover to catch individuals. Here is what you need to know were you caught in such a compromising position.

Prostitution Laws

There are specific laws when it comes to prostitution. In Michigan, they include several that include those aiding and abetting prostitutes. Here are a few of them:

Repercussions of Engaging in Prostitution

A person convicted of violating these laws and are guilty of a misdemeanor are punishable by imprisonment a maximum of 93 days and/or a fine of $500.
A person 16 years of age or older, who also has 1 prior conviction, and is found guilty of a misdemeanor can be punished with imprisonment of 1 year and/or a fine of $1,000.
If you have 2 or more prior convictions, violating the above laws can be punished with up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000.

Detroit Prostitution Lawyer

If you are caught in violation of any of these laws, it would be in your best interest to hire legal representation. At Garmo & Kiste PLC, we are experienced in cases that involve violations of Michigan’s prostitution laws. Do not let your freedom go to chance, contact us at (248)398-7100 for a free consultation.

Our experienced family law attorneys can help you work through your divorce.

If you are a single parent of minor children you may be wondering what payments you could be required to make or could receive to provide for your children. Payments of this type that cover health care, child care and educational expenses are referred to as child support. Payment of child support is determined and ordered by Circuit Court and may be part of a divorce proceeding.
A person may receive child support if they are the parent or guardian of a minor that lives in the person’s home when one or both of the child’s parents do not live in that home, the child is financially dependent on that person, and a child support order has been issued by a court. There is a formal process you must undergo in order to receive a court order for child support. Once support is ordered, the individual required to pay must do so in a timely manner. An organization called Friend of the Court will enforce the child support order if an individual fails to pay. Friend of the Court may do this in a number of ways including income withholdings, tax refund interceptions, or by bringing an action for civil contempt of court.

If a court has ordered child support to be paid to you and the other parent is withholding these payments, contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC. We are experienced attorneys that have the resources to help you get the money you need to care for your family. For more information about divorce or child support or call Garmo & Kiste, PLC Michigan Child Custody Attorney s at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

The holidays are approaching and this can be a very challenging time for families undergoing divorce, especially if there are minor children involved.   As parents going through a divorce, you should know that you can negotiate how the holiday time will be spent. A holiday schedule will ultimately be ordered by the court but it may take into account the arrangement the parties desire. You may choose to share holidays or split them evenly by assigning certain holidays to one parent on even years and the other on odd years.

The holidays can be an emotionally difficult time if you are undergoing a divorce.   One thing that may help is to try to plan events like dinners and present exchanges ahead of time. Take your schedule into account and plan ahead to ensure things run smoothly. If last-minute changes happen, try to be patient and flexible.

Additionally, consider reaching out to others for help when you’re working through a divorce during the holidays. Support from family and friends can help you focus on what the holidays are really about- enjoying the company of the people you care about.

If you have questions about holiday schedules or parenting time, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. Our experienced family law attorneys / Holiday Parenting Time in Michigan can help you work through your divorce.

Child Support / Passport Cancellation :

The Friend of the Court has several major powers to enforce parenting time and payment of child support. These include license suspension, referral for felony non-support, booting your vehicle, property liens, credit reporting, etc. License suspension can include everything from recreational licenses such as hunting and fishing, to professional licenses such as a bar license or driver’s license. One such enforcement mechanism is the suspension of passports. The Friend of the Court can suspend a person’s passport once the payor is $2,500.00 in arrears. Once the passport denial request is in the system, it will not be released until the amount owed is zero.

In some circumstances, where there is a good reason, this cancellation may be lifted temporarily. Examples of circumstances which do not constitute good cause according to a recent publication in the Oakland County Bar Association Laches November Issue, include “a desire to attend a friend or relative’s destination wedding, a real estate training junket in the Caribbean even though the payor has stated for some time that they have not actually earned any income as a real estate agent, a honeymoon that is supposedly being paid for by the bride’s family, or to go on vacation because their significant other has a timeshare in Mexico….” The sole example given of a situation where good cause may actually exist is where international travel is necessary to secure a job which can be shown will be used to pay child support. However, in this scenario significant documentation will be required. The easier solution is to avoid getting to this point in the first place.

If you or someone you know is having an issue with Friend of the Court it is important to retain an experienced attorney to represent you. By opening up a dialogue with FOC, such enforcement measures can be avoided. If you cannot afford your child support or if circumstances have changed we can work to get your support obligation changed going forward.

Child Support Passport Cancellation? To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Direct payments are when one parent gives a parent support payments directly, rather than paying through the friend of the court. Friend of the court provides payment coupons to send to their office with your payment so it can be properly attributed. Alternatively, you can even have support taken directly out of your paycheck.

If you have a good relationship with your co-parent, or sometimes even if you do not, at times it can be tempting to just make direct support payments. However, this is a very bad idea. When you make direct payments, instead of making payment through Friend of the Court these payments are not credited to your account. In other words, despite making consistent payments you may be accruing significant arrearages. This could include revocation of licenses, passport cancellations, real and personal property liens, booting your car, and others. You may end up paying your child support obligation twice. Unless you have a signed opt order from a judge, do not ever pay child support directly!

If you have already been making direct payments, all is not lost. Particularly if the payee is cooperative, or if you have kept a good paper trail of receipts, credits may sometimes be retroactively attributed to your account. However, this may not compensate you from all the damage that has accrued as a result of the arrearages. Credit reporting, attorney’s fees to have property liens removed, overdraft fees from bank liens, etc. None of these will be recompensated, so it is better to just pay through the system in the first place.

Direct Payments and Friend of the Court? If you are facing a backlog of damages as a result of direct payments, our offices can help get your payments credited. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.

With all of the debate about cutting government programs to reduce the deficit, it is easily to fall into the trap of thinking that the Social Security Disability program is the largest now that it has ever been. While it may be true that children’s SSI benefit awards are at an all-time high, adult benefits peaked in the early 1990s. Shortly thereafter, the legislature passed legislation that made it more difficult for noncitizens to obtain SSI, and eliminated drug addiction and alcoholism from the listings as basis for finding a person disabled. This resulted in a large increase in denials, especially for SSI. Additionally, the legislature overturned a court ruling which allowed for more findings of disability in children. Further, legislation killed the individualized function test, and limited the applicability of mental disorders disability. This legislation had an intense impact on SSD and SSI cases, and levels of awards dropped significantly. The rates of approval been slowly recovering ever since.

Other policy factors impacting the level at which applications are granted have been changes in the listings, such as the elimination of obesity. Claims rose again when the retirement age was raised to 67, as many people in their early 60s who were eligible for disability had previously been taking retirement benefits instead. Prior to 1983 recognition of mental illnesses, the primary mental disability receiving benefits was mental retardation. Many of these policies had significant effect whether they were intended to or not. The one area where the SSA has attempted to create policy for the purpose of changing behavior though, has largely fallen flat.

The SSA has, since the 1960s, been focused on getting people back to work in order to increase successful exits from the program and limit re-entry. These have included trial work periods not affecting benefits, providing re-applicants a waiver on the Medicaid waiting period, and others. Unfortunately, this has largely not been successful. In my experience, most people on SSD or SSI would really just like to be healthy enough to get back to work. This would tend to imply that these programs are ineffective not because people are lazy, but because they do not meet the needs of disabled people. Perhaps they are not realistic solutions and may require for example, a more gradual wean off benefits or more workplace support. Not surprisingly, the economy and disability discrimination may also play a role here.

So what does this all mean for you? If you are thinking about applying, or your application has been recently denied upcoming policy changes could really affect your chances of being successful. The trend seems to be towards limiting the awards by legislation followed by ALJ’s expanding the definitions in small ways until awards rise to the level they come to the attention of Congress again.  This seems to reflect a tendency that I have noticed even in my own practice. Often claims don’t seem very strong on paper, which is why many initial applications get denied. However, then when clients come into our office it is clear their disability, which did not seem so severe on paper, has a major effect on their life. This is where having the benefit of an ALJ hearing comes in. We can work with you to present the most compelling argument why your application should be granted in a memo to the Judge. Then, we will see the Judge in person and have the opportunity to describe all the ways your disability prevents you from working. This is why, whenever possible, our office would rather wait and have an in person hearing with the ALJ than schedule an earlier video conference. The above research, and our record, supports this theory that it is much harder to turn down a claim once the Judge has met you than on paper.


How Hard is it to get onto Social Security Disability? Let us help you, to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Wayne County extended a program through the end of May whereby individuals who have a bench warrant out against them for nonsupport. The purpose of the program is that Wayne County had limited resources to pursue these individuals, and by paying 1% of the amount due, of $250 whichever is greater, there could be a fast influx of cash while releasing bench warrants. There is over 800 million dollars outstanding in child support in Wayne County. Approximately 15 people per day in May took advantage of the program. What should you do though if you have missed this program? Don’t despair, you will need to be arraigned on the bench warrant. An experienced attorney though can work to minimize the damages. While child support amounts may not be modified retroactively, if a material change in circumstances has resulted the arrearages, we may be able to get the amount of child support you pay adjusted.

Wanted for not paying child support? Missed the Wayne County Child Support Amnesty Program? We can help you, to retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.