By: Gene F. Turnwald
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Going through a divorce is likely to be one of the most difficult and painful experiences you will ever experience during your lifetime. The results of the divorce can affect you for the rest of your life going forward. Aside from hurt feelings and the destruction of a relationship, the painful issues of asset division and custody battles can also arise. Divorce and family law issues are often very delicate and contentious. The philosophy here at the Law Office of Gene Turnwald is one of understanding and professionalism. We understand the hardships that you are going through and we are here to help you every step of the way in this difficult process.
Since emotions are so high in family law cases, you need an attorney with experience, is understanding, and patience. Our practice represents both men and women in all family matters. We will skillfully mediate, negotiate, and litigate on your behalf. Call us today for a free consultation regarding your family matter at (517) 347-6700 and we will start working on your case right away!
How Does Divorce Work in Michigan?
Every state handles divorce and family law issues differently and it’s important to know the laws in the state that you live along with the process that you will be going through. In Michigan, the first step is to officially file a complaint for divorce. This complaint essentially names the basic facts about all parties. It can include the names of the parents/children, the dates of marriage, the dates of separation and most importantly a statement that discloses there has been a breakdown in the marriage. You will also have to sign what is called a verified statement. This is given to the friend of the court and includes the contact information of all parties, their employers, and also health care information for all of the minor children involved.
The next step in a Michigan divorce proceeding is what is called Ex Parte Orders. These are not required but are very common. These orders are only entered into the court based on the spouse who filed the actual complaint. These Ex Parte Orders are used to determine temporary custody for the children, child support, dividing up parenting time, and some other issues which are related to all the children.
What About Asset Division?
Both the complaint for divorce and the Ex Parte Orders need to served to the other parent. Once this occurs, the spouse has a full 21 days to file their answers with the court. If the spouse fails to answer, he/she will be held in default and has no legal standing to contest issues during divorce except for asset division.
The next step of the divorce process is called discovery. Each party is required to disclose all of their assets through interrogatories, depositions, and subpoenas. Both during and after this step of discovery, both parties will attempt to agree to a settlement.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Michigan?
There is a formula aptly named the Michigan Child Support Formula that determines which parent will for support and the support amount. This calculation includes both parent’s income and how many nights the child spends with each parent. Here is a short list of the factors involved when determining child support:
- The income amounts of both parents
- The number of nights that the child spends overnight at each parents
- How many children will need to be supported
- The costs of healthcare
- The costs of child care
How Long For a Divorce To Be Finalized?
If there are not any children in the equation, it’s possible to have a divorce granted in 60 days. If there are children involved however, a divorce cannot be granted until at least 6 months have passed. There is a residency requirement in place before you can file a divorce and this can cause a slight time delay. You or your spouse must have lived in Michigan for 180 days if you have children and and the county that you file the divorce in for at least 10 days.
Michigan utilizes no-fault divorce and there is no requirement that you must be living separately. If you are living separately, serving the divorce papers can cause time delays if it is difficult to reach the other spouse. If you are able to work out the details including asset division, spousal support, and parenting time, you can enter the judgment and can be resolved as soon as the 60 day waiting period is over and the court holds your final hearing. If there are unsolved issues, the divorce process can take many months longer. It takes time for pretrial matters, to exchange financials, find and secure witnesses, and attend the trial.
Experienced Divorce Attorneys Who Understand
Roughly 99% of all divorces are settled out of court without a trial. Once you’ve made the very difficult decision to go through with a divorce, you probably don’t want to be dragged through litigation and have the judge or friend of the court make decisions impacting your life forever. Gene Turnwald is an attorney who will help you reach your goals while avoiding expensive and traumatizing litigation. Contact Gene Today at 517-347-6700 to schedule a no-obligation free consultation.