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Determining Jurisdiction and Filing the Complaint

We must determine what county to file the divorce in.  Typically, this is where the Plaintiff (the person starting the action) lives. It can also be where the Defendant (the other side responding to the action) lives. For a court to have jurisdiction (the legal authority) over a case, the Plaintiff or the Defendant, must have resided in Michigan for 180 days, and in the County where you are filing your case, for 10 days, immediately prior to filing.

There are exceptions to the rule, such as when the Defendant was born in, or is a citizen of a country other than the United States of America, the parties to the divorce action have a minor child or children, and there is information that would allow the court to reasonably conclude that the minor child or children are at risk of being taken out of the United States of America and retained in another country by the Defendant.  In cases where all of those criteria are met, the court rules allow a person to file a complaint for divorce in any county in the state without meeting the 10-day county requirement. There are other exceptions as well.

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Our Metro Detroit divorce attorneys handle family law cases in Livingston, Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties. Call us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law mater.