Going through a divorce is an extremely emotional experience. Most people understand this, but do not realize that divorce is also a complex legal process. Michigan has many laws surrounding the divorce process, and even a small mistake can greatly impact the settlement you receive. If you are considering divorce, or have already started the process, speak to our divorce attorneys in Ludington to discuss your legal options.
Divorces in Ludington, and throughout the rest of Michigan, are considered no-fault. This means that to get a divorce, one spouse simply has to state that there has been a breakdown in the marital relationship and there is little chance for reconciliation. Neither spouse must prove their partner was the reason for the breakdown in the marriage.
However, this does not mean that fault does not play a part in the divorce process. If one spouse was to blame for the divorce, their wrongdoing could be used against them in property division, alimony, child support, or child custody hearings. For example, if one spouse had an affair and used marital funds for it, the other spouse may receive more in alimony to compensate for that fact.
While some divorce cases end in a trial, most divorce cases are settled outside of the courtroom. Still, the fact that a certain case does not go to trial does not necessarily mean it is an uncontested case.
An uncontested divorce is one in which the couple agrees to all terms of the case, including child custody, child support, and more. If the couple disagrees on even one term of the case, it becomes a contested divorce. Not all contested divorce cases end up in a trial. Many different forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation and collaborative law do not require litigation. Divorces settled outside of the courtroom are typically less expensive and are finalized more quickly.
Although most people do not want a long and drawn-out divorce, divorce does not happen right away. After filing for divorce, the couple must wait a minimum of 60 days before their divorce is granted if they do not have children. Couples with children must wait a minimum of six months before finalizing their divorce. The waiting period for divorce is intended to give couples the chance to reconcile their differences and halt the divorce process.
If you are getting a divorce, you likely have a lot of questions. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, our divorce attorneys in Ludington can answer all of them. We also know how to negotiate aggressively with the other side to secure the fair settlement you deserve. To get the sound legal advice you need during your divorce, call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.