How to Choose a Michigan Divorce Lawyer
Since divorce calls for complex legal procedure, usually lawyers who has specialized training and knowledge in family law deal the matter. Divorce, which is also termed as dissolution of marriage, entails breaking up of a marriage and sharing out property and debt. The matter further involves deciding whether husband or wife will have child guardianship and custody, who will recompense child’s living expenses, and in some cases living expenses of the spouse.
Depending on the type of divorce and the level of contention between the parties, the process may take months or even years. For representing a divorce matter, Lawyers must have in-depth understanding of family law and family court procedures. Moreover, law related to divorce differs from state to state. Therefore, if you reside in MI and are in a problem of divorce or other family law matters, you need to choose an attorney from Michigan family law attorneys for consulting your particular problem.
Usually, the procedure is initiated either by an informal separation or a formal agreement for separation. It is followed by a petition for dissolution. In some cases, one of the spouses may choose a lawyer to represent for filing a motion for temporary orders. After that, the dissolution procedure may go through some alternative dispute resolution procedures, such as discovery, negotiation and settlement discussions, and often mediation before it goes on a trial. If the alternative dispute resolution procedures fail, it is referred in a trial for solving disputed matters and deciding a type of dissolution that would be most convenient and expected to the spouses. For choosing a method for divorce you must know the divorce law specific to your state where you reside or the divorce has occurred. Divorce lawyers in Michigan
can explain MI state statutes related to divorce.
Categories of Divorces
Fault or no-fault divorce: Depending of its’ nature, divorce has been classified into different types and categories. The basic crucial category is divorce with or without fault. Fault generated break up happens when the spouse seeking divorce alleges that the other spouse was expressly at fault for the collapse of the marriage. In a divorce with fault, one spouse’s faults are regarded as grounds for the dissolution by the other spouse. Such grounds may include cruelty or abuse, adultery, or other unlawful acts done by the one spouse against the other. Whether an alleged act of a spouse will be deemed as fault or not differs from state to state. The splitting out of property, child guardianship, subsistence, and alimony may be affected by the nature of faults committed.
On the contrary, in a no-fault divorce, the spouse seeking the divorce need not demonstrate that the other spouse is at fault. Therefore, the petition requesting dissolution of the marriage from the court can be filed without showing grounds. Examples of such divorce include irreconcilable differences, irremedial breakdown of marriage, and irretrievable breakdown of marriage. No fault divorces have many advantages, including bringing down the sum of money and time spent and enabling exclusive conjugal details to remain private.
Michigan has enacted a no fault divorce law, pursuant to which residents of MI can obtain a divorce without establishing that the other party did something wrong. For details about no-fault divorce procedure in Michigan, consult with a Michigan divorce attorney
Contested or Michigan Uncontested Divorce: Whether the divorce will be contested or uncontested depends on whether the spouses agree or disagree on the relevant matters, such as, sharing out of property, custody of child and other matters that typically come into being. In an uncontested divorce, one spouse may serve notice for divorce or file petition for divorce, and the other may simply consent with the terms and approve to the dissolution as advanced.
In a contested divorce, there will be at least one disputed issue that the spouses do not agree upon. At the initial stage of the procedure, spouses usually try to settle their disputed issues or non-agreed matters amongst themselves or with the help of their attorneys or a mediator. Issues that are not settled through the mediation are decided by the court in a trial or hearing.
Summary Divorce: Concluding the divorce procedure in a summarized way, which is known as summary or simplified divorce, is possible if the spouses agree on the property division and other issues of disputes, and their situations fulfill certain requirements so that the law permits the divorce with comparatively little supervision of the court. To be eligible for a summary divorce, the spouses customarily must not be in possession of a home or mortgage. However, there is typically a maximum amount of community property and separate property that the spouses may possess. Another stipulation for summary divorce is that the couple must not have children together, but in some states it may be acceptable if custody and visitation issues have already been decided prior to the summary divorce.
Divorce through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): When no-fault divorce procedures were not available, different types of alternative divorce procedures have emerged with the motivation of reducing the clash and spending connected with legal costs since legal procedures for divorce are often expensive and damaging for both husband and wife.
Collaboration between divorce attorneys and their divorce seeking clients or Collaborative divorce is one of such alternative procedures where distinct regulations have been framed to inhibit the multiplicity of dispute common during litigation. For example, if the parties fail to reach to a consensus at some point of the collaborative process and prefer to move to litigation, each of them must find new attorneys for further representation since the attorneys representing the spouses in the collaborative procedure may not carry on to represent them. It is hypothesized that collaborative legal attorneys will drive their endeavor and contemplation toward helping their clients settle since breakdown of the collaborative process means the loss of their clients.
Mediation is another method for carrying out divorce in a alternative way. In some states, adopting mediation procedure, which is called mediated divorce, for carrying out divorce is optional out of court process at the option of the spouses. On the other hand, mediation may be a regular process at the recommendation or requirement of the court or by the preference of the parties. In some states, mediation may even be instructed by some courts instead of a settlement conference. Mediation enables the parties to try to settle employing a non-partisan mediator who helps the parties negotiate and, compromise to reach to a consensus on the disputed matters. In mediation, the spouses have better control in deciding disputes; In contrast, in a trial, a judge dictates the terms of property distribution and other issues which may even go against the wishes of both the parties. Consult a divorce lawyer in Michigan to know about the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures of divorce available under the MI statutes.
Submitting Divorce Petition
Divorce procedure is initiated by filing of divorce petition by the attorney on behalf of the client. Divorce petition is also known as a complaint for dissolution of marriage. Through the submission of divorce petition, the procedure enters into the court system. The petition usually contains some basic information such as whether the spouses have any children and what the petitioner spouse solicits regarding guardianship and living expenses of children. Statements revealing information about income, expenses, and separate and community property possessed by each spouse may be submitted either at this stage or later on in the proceedings. If you live in Michigan, and thinking to file a divorce petition, you need to choose a Michigan divorce attorney to represent you in the court.
Temporary Restraining Orders
Upon filing of the petition, temporary restraining or injunction order may be sought from the court. Depending on the state, such orders may impose restriction on the spouses from undertaking some actions with regard to property, and other relevant things. For example, a spouse may not withdraw or transfer funds from joint bank accounts, sell real estate or other property, or spend large amount for unnecessary purchases. Some states also prohibit altering insurance policies and wills while the divorce procedure is at the court to be decided.
Attorney of the either party may plead for further temporary orders from the court In addition to the temporary restraining orders concerning marital or community property. The temporary orders classically comprised of applications for child custody orders, child subsistence, support for the spouse, and for exclusive occupancy of the family home or single use of some community property such as a car. If you are in MI, consult with a Michigan divorce attorney to discuss about the types of temporary restraining orders available under the Michigan statutes.
The court issues temporary orders after a hearing of the parties or if the parties agree on an issue. Such orders remain in effect until the court makes further orders in the proceeding, which usually doesn’t happen until the parties reach a settlement or until the court hears the case to settle issues the parents failed to solve amongst themselves.
Property Division in Michigan
How a divorce is tackled by the court and by lawyers engaged in the case depends somewhat on which state the couple resides and files petition for divorce. If the couple resides and files their petition in a community property state, the property division will be different than if the divorce happens in an equitable distribution state.
States, called community property states, have adopted community property law under which the earnings of the either spouse are the property of both the husband and the wife. Hence, in a community property state, all income is viewed as community property, which means that each spouse is the owner of half of such property without reference to who acquired it. However, property received prior to marriage, through gift or inheritance, or after divorce or separation is separate property, and is not considered as community property. Upon division, husband usually gets 50% and wife also gets 50% of the community property. However, in some states adjustments may be made if one spouse has sizeable separate assets or under other situations.
In an equitable distribution state, which is also known as a common law property state, the court may apply more discretion in deciding the way of distributing property between two spouses. There are many factors a court may contemplate in determining the way of distributing property and assets in states who apply this method. Factors cover the duration of the marriage, property brought into the marriage by each spouse, and the earning capacity and contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contribution to the acquisition of property and other contributions such as household upkeep and child care by a homemaker.
Michigan is not a community property state, it is an equitable distribution state. Therefore, marital property and assets are divided in a manner that will allow both parties to have as equal a share as possible, but not necessarily a 50-50 division. Consult with a Michigan Family Law Attorney
for details. Remember that whereas in a community property state it is usually foreseeable how the property will be distributed, in an equitable distribution state it is much more difficult to anticipate.
For your convenience, each Michigan Divorce Attorney offers a free phone consultation. Contact us today by calling (248) 588-3333 or (877) 737-8800. An experienced Divorce Lawyer is waiting to speak with you about your legal rights.