Not all marriages are meant to last. Sometimes things happen that cause immense marital stress and discord. If your marriage no longer brings you joy, it may be time to file for divorce.
The first step is probably the easiest. You just need to make sure you meet the requirements for divorce, which most Michigan residents do. At least one spouse must have lived in Michigan for 180 days or six months. You must file for divorce in the circuit court in the county where you or your spouse live for 10 days. Your lawyer can assist with this. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, so you do not have to prove fault or blame anyone. However, you must assert that there has been a breakdown of the marriage. This is known as irreconcilable differences.
Once you have filed the paperwork, the other spouse will be served with all the documents, including the summons and complaint. Your spouse must respond to the complaint within 21 days or 28 days if they were served by mail. If your spouse does not respond, it becomes an uncontested divorce case. This allows the court to enter a default order.
If there are children, then the court may issue temporary orders, such as child support and child custody. After this, the divorce process begins. The case goes into the discovery phase, in which the lawyers start investigating the case. This involves gathering information about custody, all the assets and debts in the case and assigning values to them. The discovery process can also be used to obtain information relevant to income, work history, education, and any businesses in order to determine alimony, if appropriate.
Once the lawyers have all the relevant information, they will start the negotiation process, in which they determine settlements. If the parties cannot agree, then they will go to mediation. This process uses a mediator to help with negotiations by answering questions and moving the process along. If mediation does not yield a result, then the case will go to court. Many contested divorces go to court, which can be a costly and time-consuming process. In court, a judge will make a decision on anything the spouses cannot agree on.
Once decisions have been made about all the elements of the divorce, a final settlement conference will be scheduled. The final step is the final judgment or issuance of the divorce decree. This judgment includes all the terms and conditions of the divorce, including property division, child support, child custody, and alimony.
Contact Us Today
If your marriage is struggling and divorce is on your mind, it is a good idea to know the process involved. Divorces are often highly complex and stressful, but the right knowledge can make things easier.
The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can provide you with the best representation possible. We handle all the elements involved. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (248) 646-7980.