As you consider the possibility of filing for divorce in Michigan and discuss it with your close friends or family members, or even as you seek out information on the internet, you are likely to run into many different misconceptions about divorce. Everyone tends to have an opinion about divorce, and it is important to keep in mind that those opinions usually are not based in fact. The following are ten misconceptions about divorce that we want to dispel for you. In the meantime, if you need assistance filing for divorce, you should get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney in Michigan.
Divorce Takes a Long Time
While some divorces might take a long time, uncontested divorces in which the parties agree to all terms can actually go quickly under Michigan law, resulting in divorce in as short a time as two months from the date of filing.
Divorce is Always Messy
Uncontested divorces are those in which the spouses agree to all terms, and they can often be quite amicable.
You Need to Live “Separate and Apart” From Your Spouse
Michigan does not require spouses to live “separate and apart” in order to be eligible for divorce. Indeed, you can continue to share a house with your spouse throughout the divorce process.
Someone is Always at Fault in a Divorce
Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means there is no need to address fault in a divorce. Instead, the spouses must show that “there has been a breakdown of the marriage” and that there is “no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”
Mothers Usually Get Custody
Michigan’s child custody law requires courts to determine custody based on the best interests of the child, and Michigan presumes that both parents will play a role in raising their children after a divorce.
You can Only File for Divorce in Michigan if You Got Married in Michigan
You can file for divorce in Michigan regardless of where you got married. The only Michigan residency requirement is that one of the spouses has lived in Michigan for at least 180 days.
Equitable Distribution of Property Means Property Gets Divided 50/50 Between Spouses
Equitable distribution means fair distribution, and the court considers a variety of factors in determining what kind of property division is fair to both parties. Equitable distribution does not mean equal distribution.
Michigan Courts Always Allow Older Kids to Decide Where They Live After a Divorce
As we mentioned above, courts use the “best interests of the child” to determine where minor kids reside after a divorce. Depending on the circumstances, the preferences of the child can be factored into the court’s decision, but the child does not automatically decide.
Only Women are Awarded Alimony
Either spouse can be awarded alimony in a Michigan divorce, and alimony can also be awarded in same-sex divorces.
Once a Court Sets a Child Custody Schedule, it Cannot Be Changed
Modifications are always possible when there has been a substantial change in circumstances that requires a change to a child custody arrangement.
Contact a Divorce Attorney in Michigan
Are you considering a divorce? Do you have questions about property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, or other issues pertaining to your divorce? An experienced divorce attorney in Michigan at our firm can speak with you today about your questions and concerns. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information about the family law services we provide to Michigan residents.