The Internet is flooded with ads promising that you can get a cheap, fast and easy divorce. While that may be true for some people, it is not common. Most married couples have invested many years and a great deal of energy into marriage, and the same is going to be true in divorce. There are ways to make your divorce go more smoothly and to save costs. However, it is likely to cost more than $199.
No quickie divorce
Michigan law requires that a couple filing for divorce reside in the state for a period of at least 180 days, and in the county of filing for at least 10 days. In addition to the residency requirement, Michigan also has a mandatory cooling-off period. From the date of filing to the earliest court date, at least 60 days must elapse for a couple without children and six months for a couple with minor children. That means that at the very minimum your divorce is going to take anywhere from two to six months, and could take longer if you have issues to negotiate.
Uncontested or no-fault divorce
The simplest — and cheapest — type of divorce is one that is uncontested. This means that the couple agrees that the marriage is not salvageable and the decision to divorce is (legally) mutual. An uncontested divorce moves more quickly through the system than one that is fault-based, freeing the couple — and the attorneys — to move on to resolve other divorce matters.
Division of property and custody
If you do not share any property or have a comprehensive premarital agreement, the division of assets could go quickly. Most couples, however, require attorneys to help them identify which assets are separate and which are marital assets, and assess the value of each item in their portfolio. You can then work out an agreement regarding the division of assets between you, or with your attorneys, or in mediation. This can save some time and money if done thoroughly and fairly.
Why do I need an attorney?
While a quickie $199 divorce might sound tempting, do not underestimate the benefits of legal advice. In the face of divorce, many people are not able to advocate for their own needs and pay the price for that for many years after the divorce is final. Your divorce attorney can help you obtain adequate spousal support and assist you in creating a parenting plan that is practical and in the best interests of your children, among other essential services.
A divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins is available to support you through your divorce process.