You might decide to file for separate maintenance because of your religion or if you want to stay married for other reasons.But, if you file a separate maintenance case and your spouse files a counterclaim for divorce, the court must treat the case as a divorce.If a prior case is still active, the court might not have jurisdiction in a new case. If you are in this situation you should consider talking to a lawyer.

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Limited jurisdiction means the court can divorce you, but might not be able to do other things like: Before you can file a new divorce case, all prior divorce cases must be dismissed. You can get a divorce here as long as one of you has lived in Michigan for at least six months.

You must tell the court about all other court cases between you and your spouse. But if your right to live in the United States depends on your marriage, divorce may affect that right.

Read the Common Questions if you have a specific question.

If you want to file for divorce, use the Forms link to prepare your forms.

You must file your case in the circuit court in the county where either you or your spouse has lived for at least the last ten days.

You can use our Do-It-Yourself Divorce to create the forms you need.

In general, your divorce must be filed in the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse has lived for at least the last ten days. You can file in any Michigan county regardless of how long you or your spouse lived there if all of the following things are true and you include them in your complaint for divorce: To get a divorce in Michigan, only one spouse must live here.

Most people file where they live, but you don’t have to. However, if you or your spouse has never lived in Michigan, the court may only have limited jurisdiction in your case.

Use the Guide to Legal Help to find a lawyer or legal services in your area. Separate maintenance is like divorce, but you stay married at the end of the case.