Michigan Divorce and Moving Out Of State

divorceAre you moving out of Michigan and are getting a divorce? Or, are you an out-of-state resident who is married to a resident of Michigan? Or, are you thinking of moving out of state once your divorce is finalized, and you want to know whether moving out of Michigan will impact your divorce? The truth is, your divorce is unlikely to be impacted by residency issues unless there are minor children involved; a topic that is worthy of its own blog. So, for purposes of this blog, we will focus in on whether a Michigan court will have jurisdiction to grant a divorce under these kinds of circumstances, and if it does, how it will divide marital assets.


At least one party must be a Michigan resident for 180 days, and a resident of the county in which the divorce is being filed for 10 days, for a Michigan court to have jurisdiction. So, even if you are not a Michigan resident, you can still file for divorce in Michigan as long as your spouse meets those jurisdictional requirements. It also means that your Michigan spouse could file for divorce against you even if you are not a Michigan resident. These issues may arise in the event that both spouses want to file for divorce first, and they are residents of different states. There may be certain advantages to filing first and having the divorce go through a party’s “home state.” Reasons that a person may want to file first in his/her state as opposed to another may include: convenience, favorable laws in one state over another, and catching the other party off guard so that they have less time to “hide” assets.

Moving Out of State After a Divorce

So, will Michigan residents be penalized for getting a divorce in Michigan, and then choosing to move to another state after the divorce is finalized? The answer is no. Quite frankly, judges don’t really care what a party does once a divorce is finalized unless there are children involved. In those situations, there could be custody and parenting time issues that arise.

Out of State Property and Property Moving Out of State

One may wonder whether property that is out-of-state is subject to division in a divorce in Michigan. Out-of-state property is subject to a divorce as long as it is considered to be “marital property.” Marital property covers almost all property obtained during the marriage with a few exceptions. One exception, for example, is inherited property. It makes no difference whether the property obtained is located in Michigan or any other state, or any other country for that matter; it is subject to division as long as it’s a marital asset. One may also wonder whether property in Michigan may be moved out of state before a divorce is finalized. The answer is almost always “NO.” In fact, if one party attempts to move property out-of-state to avoid division, the court will look unfavorably on such acts and often times immediately award said property to the other side. If you are going through the divorce process and want to move a piece of property out-of-state, it is best to have an attorney ask for permission from the court before doing so.

Michigan Out of State Parenting Time

In Michigan, courts like to order liberal parenting time, and provide children with regular access to time with their parents, to the greatest degree reasonable. This will usually involve something like alternating holidays, weekends, and so on. When one parent is out of the state, though, this kind of schedule is unlikely to be feasible. However, just because one parent does not live in Michigan, does not mean that he or she parent will be denied parenting time with the child. Indeed, courts look to protect the best interests of the child, and that usually means having at least some contact with both parents. Rather than requiring a parents to give up parenting time altogether, a different parenting time schedule than the norm will have to be worked out. There are many variations that this can take, and even though under these circumstances, logistics will likely make a true 50/50 split of time impossible, but a skilled attorney can help you reach an arrangement that protects your rights to see your child.

Get a Michigan Divorce Attorney

Regardless of whether you are an out-of-state resident and you are getting divorced in Michigan, or if you are a Michigan resident who is thinking about moving out of state after the divorce is finalized, you should talk to an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer. Our office is experienced in handling all issues that may arise in the divorce process and we can be contacted at 586-268-2400. If you require additional information, please visit out of state Michigan Divorce Attorneys.