734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

DIVORCE 18: Residency requirement for filing divorce is 180 days immediately preceding the filing.

The present case is a divorce action involving parties who currently reside in two different states. Parties married in November 2009, and they have two minor children. During their marriage, the couple moved several times. The couple began their married life in Georgia, where they met, married, and had their son. The family stayed in Georgia until June 2012, when they moved to Michigan.

According to Defendant, the move to Michigan was always intended to be temporary, and she and Plaintiff ultimately wanted to return to Georgia. Regardless, between 2012 and 2014, the family lived in Michigan.

In August or September 2014, the parties and their children moved to Wisconsin. Although the parties agree that they moved to Wisconsin in 2014, the evidence is conflicting with regard to whether they intended to remain there. Plaintiff maintained that the move to Wisconsin was never intended to be permanent and that the family always planned to return to Michigan, where he hoped to obtain an electrician apprenticeship. In contrast, Defendant emphasized that Plaintiff had a permanent job, and she testified that the family really liked Wisconsin, that they had no intention of returning to Michigan, and that they would have stayed in Wisconsin if Plaintiff had not eventually lost his job.

In the spring of 2015, Plaintiff lost his job, and he began a new job in Indiana in August 2015.

Defendant testified that, after moving out of the Wisconsin apartment in October 2015, the couple placed their belongings in storage, and Defendant and the children visited Plaintiff’s family for a few weeks in Michigan

In November 2015, the family flew to Georgia to visit Defendant’s family for Thanksgiving. After the holiday, Plaintiff returned to Indiana by himself. Defendant and the children stayed in Georgia, and remained in Georgia with her family and the children following a marital dispute.

In December 2015, Defendant filed a complaint regarding child custody, visitation, and child support in Georgia state court. In January 2016, while the Georgia case remained pending, Plaintiff filed a complaint for divorce in Michigan, seeking sole legal and primary physical custody of the children.

In February 2016, the circuit court declined to exercise jurisdiction over the custody matter under the UCCJEA, reasoning that neither Michigan nor Georgia was the children’s home state and, considering the children’s ties to the respective states, the Georgia court should make the initial custody determination.

The circuit court held a second evidentiary hearing for the divorce complaint, following which the circuit court determined that Plaintiff did not meet the residency requirements of MCL 552.9(1) because he was a resident of either Indiana or Wisconsin, not Michigan, during the relevant period.

In particular, Plaintiff makes two basic arguments regarding residency. First, he claims that he has resided in Michigan since 2012, when the parties moved to Michigan from Georgia, and that his time living in Wisconsin and working in Indiana was merely a temporary absence from Michigan. Second, Plaintiff asserts that, even if he became a Wisconsin resident in 2014, he reestablished Michigan residency in July 2015, after he lost his job, at which time he claims that the parties and their children moved from Wisconsin to Plaintiff’s parents’ home in Michigan.

At issue in this case is whether Plaintiff satisfied the jurisdictional residency requirement contained in MCL 552.9(1), which provides that a judgment of divorce shall not be granted by a court in this state in an action for divorce unless the complainant or defendant has resided in this state for 180 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.

The term “resided” is understood to require physical presence plus an intention to remain. Residence must be considered in light of a person’s intent. Property ownership and other facts are often considered, yet intent is the key factor. Consequently, an established domicile is not destroyed by a temporary absence if the person has no intention of changing his or her domicile.

Although Plaintiff eventually obtained an apprenticeship in Michigan sometime near the end of 2015, and he now apparently resides in Michigan, the relevant question is Plaintiff’s residence from July 2015, i.e., 180 days before he filed his complaint for divorce. MCL 552.9(1). Consequently, because the record supports that Plaintiff did not reside in Michigan for the required residency period, the circuit court did not err by dismissing Plaintiff’s 2016 complaint for divorce.

Were you just served with divorce papers?

In order to protect your parental and financial rights, it is important to have an experienced and understanding divorce attorney by your side at every step of the way.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405