As you approach the end of your marriage, there are many unwelcome goodbyes. You say goodbye to the dreams you had for your relationship and marriage, goodbye to your goals of building a future together, and goodbye to the idea of raising your children in a “traditional” two-parent home.
But that’s not the end of your story. Every goodbye opens the window on a multitude of new possibilities. You say hello to the opportunity to build a new life you love, either on your own or with a new partner. If you have children, you welcome the chance to build a healthy new co-parenting relationship that puts your children first. You say embrace the limitless choices you have in your future, whether you start a new business, travel, spend more time with friends, or explore new hobbies.
Your ability to reach the new life waiting for you on the other side of divorce depends on the steps you take right now. Find out how The Lobb Law Firm can help you get through this process with your dignity, assets, familial relationships, and future intact.
What Are Michigan’s Requirements for Divorce?
Every state sets its own divorce requirements, and you should be familiar with Michigan’s laws before you begin the process with a family law attorney. To be able to file for divorce, you must meet these requirements:
- One spouse must have lived in Michigan for the 180 days prior to the filing
- One spouse must have been a resident in the filing county for 10 days prior to filing
- 60-day waiting period for the divorce to be granted if there are no children
- A waiting period of six months if there are minor children involved
These requirements are fairly standard and are similar to what most other states require.
Legal Grounds for Divorce
Many people fear having their name dragged through the mud during divorce, imagining all of their dirty laundry becoming public knowledge. These misconceptions are generally based on the idea of “fault” divorce, in which a marriage may be ended for infidelity, abuse, alcoholism, and other grounds that place the blame squarely on one person.
The good news is that Michigan is not a fault divorce state. The state of Michigan only grants no-fault divorce, which allows a couple to dissolve their marriage as long as there has been a breakdown of the relationship that cannot be repaired or preserved. While either party’s conduct may come up in other areas of proceedings, you and your divorce lawyer do not have to prove that the other party did something wrong (or protect yourself from these allegations) simply to obtain a divorce.
What to Consider As You Plan for Your Divorce
There’s a lot to discuss as you work through the divorce process in Macomb County. As you think about the items on this list, so think about what you hope to get out of your divorce and where you are willing to compromise.
- Child custody. This is the top concern for many divorcing couples. If you’re worried about losing time with your child and want to fight for full custody, remember that research indicates that children generally fare better when they get to spend a meaningful amount of time with both parents. There are obviously exceptions to this, but your Southfield child custody attorney will work with you to make decisions that are in your child’s best interest.
- Child and spousal support. You may be entitled to child/spousal support or you may have to pay child/spousal support. For child support, much is determined by each party’s income and how much time the children spend with each parent. Spousal support may be awarded if one party gave up their career or educational opportunities to care for the family.
- Division of property. Michigan law strives to divide property in a fair manner. Assets earned prior to the marriage are generally kept separate, while those acquired during the marriage are generally divided.
- Division of debts. Debt also has to be split up. Much goes into this decision, including who benefited from the assets paid for with the acquired debt, if both parties knew about the debt, and each party’s ability to repay.
- Living arrangements. Who will keep the marital home? Will it be sold so the proceeds can be divided fairly? Do both parties have to remain in the same city for the children to remain in their school? These are just a few of the questions that may come up.
Family Law in Michigan: Frequently Asked Questions
Divorce clients have a lot of concerns and fears at their initial appointment. These are some of the most common questions we get?
How long will this divorce take?
The process may take over six months if you have children, depending on the mandatory waiting time. If it is an uncontested divorce and you have no children, it could be over in just a couple months. Generally, the process moves faster if both parties are cooperative and slower if one party wants to drag out every single issue.
How much does a divorce cost?
This depends on how quickly issues are resolved. Uncontested divorces are generally very inexpensive since there is not as much for the legal teams to decide. Divorces with lots of assets or divorces that are high-conflict may cost much more in legal fees.
I’m afraid my spouse is hiding assets—what can I do?
We are familiar with this situation and we will help you uncover any hidden assets. For example, a forensic accountant may be able to trace your spouse’s hidden or gifted assets.
Will I lose my children to my spouse?
In most situations, the court prefers to split childrearing time evenly. It is unlikely that you will lose custody of your children simply because your spouse wants to be vindictive.
Will I lose everything I’ve earned?
The court is not in the business of hurting people just to hurt them; they want to divide assets fairly. Additionally, your team at The Lobb Law Firm will advocate fiercely on your behalf to make sure you keep what is rightfully yours.
Reach Out to the Top Family Law Attorneys in Michigan Today
It’s crucial to choose a law firm you can trust to fight for you. If you handle this part of the process incorrectly, you could lose access to your children, your assets, and even your pension or retirement savings. At The Lobb Law Firm, we are dedicated to our clients’ success. We truly believe that you have a bright future in front of you, and we are determined to fight for it and give you the best start possible. To set up a free consultation, call us now and talk to our team of Michigan family law attorneys.