Divorce

A divorce ends the legal relationship between a husband and wife. The divorce does not end the family relationship, even though the relationship will change.

Several decisions must be made before a divorce is granted. These include custody, parenting time, property settlement, child support, spousal support-alimony, health care coverage, restoration of maiden name, and domicile.

Divorce issues may be resolved in the following ways:

  1. The parties may be able to reach an agreement by themselves or by talking to their attorneys.
     
  2. Mediation may be available to resolve the issues of custody and visitation.
     
  3. The Friend of the Court referee may hear the issues and make a recommendation to the judge.
     
  4. The judge may help in settling a matter having a pretrial or settlement conference.
     
  5. The judge will hold a hearing or trial on the issues that have not been resolved.

Not every divorce matter that is started ends in a divorce. A divorce matter may be suspended with a written Notice of Reconciliation to the Friend of the Court. A reconciliation does not dismiss a divorce action or stop a current child support order until a new order is in place. If the parties wish to end the divorce action, they must file an Order of Dismissal with the circuit court and provide a copy to the Friend of the Court.


 
Berrien County Courthouse
811 Port Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
Berrien County Administration Center
701 Main Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
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