Source Information

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics
Ancestry.com. Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Original data:

Michigan. Divorce records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.

About Michigan, Divorce Records, 1897-1952

Michigan began requiring counties to record divorces in 1897, though there are a few divorce records dated as early as 1892. This collection includes court returns of divorces, as well as divorce records created by the Michigan Department of Health, Bureau of Records and Statistics. While records are included up to 1952, images after 1942 are not available in this database.

Divorce court summaries are in a ledger format by year. They typically asked:

  • county and court of decree
  • names and ages of both parties
  • marriage date and place
  • number of children
  • who filed the complaint and the date of filing
  • date of the final action
  • alleged cause of divorce
  • whether the case was contested
  • whether case was granted, refused, or withdrawn
  • whether the divorce was granted absolutely or with conditions

Later summaries with the Department of Health are in document form. They include much of the same information as well as noting any alimony paid.

The case files of the local court of the decree may include more details about the court proceedings, so you may want to visit the county courthouse for additional records.