Divorce impacts every aspect of your life. You may fear not being able to spend as much time with your children or losing the assets most valuable to you. The divorce process itself can become complex and although no one wants a case to drag on for months, or even years, it sometimes happens. If you are considering divorce, it is important to work with a divorce attorney near you to help you through the many issues that will arise and give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
Divorce is sometimes mutual, but it is not uncommon for one spouse to think the other was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Sometimes people have an affair or develop a substance abuse problem that negatively impacts the relationship.
While these circumstances may exist, Michigan is still a no-fault divorce state. The person filing for divorce simply must state that there has been a breakdown in the marriage and that there is little chance of reconciling. While some spouses want to include fault when filing, no-fault divorces are actually beneficial, as it eliminates the requirement for the filing spouse to prove wrongdoing.
Even under Michigan’s no-fault divorce laws, fault may still play a role in a divorce case. For example, if one spouse developed a drinking problem and spent money in a joint bank account they had with their partner, the spouse without an addiction may be awarded more in property division hearings to compensate for the missing funds.
When filing for divorce in Michigan, you must have lived in the state for a minimum of 180 days. If you are the first to file for divorce, you must have also lived in the county for a minimum of ten days before filing.
Once you or your spouse has filed a petition to dissolve the marriage with the court, the divorce process officially begins. The spouse that files for divorce is considered the plaintiff, while the other is the defendant. The complaint filed with the court by the plaintiff is served to the defendant, who then has 21 to 28 days to respond. The amount of time given for the response depends on whether the complaint was served by mail or if the defendant no longer lives in the state.
Defendants can either deny or agree to the statements made within the complaint. When there is no denial and the two spouses can agree to all terms of the divorce, such as child custody, the divorce can be finalized very quickly. When disagreements arise, the divorce becomes contested and can take much longer.
In Michigan, you are not required to work with a divorce attorney near you, but it is advised to ensure your rights are protected. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our experienced attorneys will guide you through the process, negotiate with the other side, and give you the best chance of securing a favorable outcome. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys and to learn how we can help.