Michigan is a no-fault divorce state and the grounds for divorce are provided by statute as follows:
There has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.That does not mean that fault is irrelevant and it may be relevant to specific issues including custody, spousal support, and property division.
First Steps In A Divorce
The first step in a divorce is to meet with a Michigan Divorce lawyer to learn about your options. This is a critical stage as many of the decisions that you make – at the beginning – will likely affect the outcome of your divorce. Once you have chosen a lawyer to represent you it is important at the initial meeting you bring with you your bank account statements, list of marital assets and debts, will or trusts, tax returns and employment statements.
Legal Process Of Divorce
The legal process for a divorce starts with the filing of a summons and complaint. The summons notifies the other spouse that a lawsuit has been filed and that he or she has 21 days to respond or a default may be taken. The Complaint states the general information about the parties and their children (if involved) the date of separation, grounds for divorce, a statement of property, and the type of relief that is
requested. A filing fee of around $150.00 dollars or $230 if children are involved is required. At this point an Ex Parte Order may be obtained for temporary custody, support and much more. A timely objection filed to an Ex Parte Order may negate the effectiveness of the Order until a hearing can be held. Obtaining an Ex Parte Order requires a motion and hearing and all motions require a $20.00 filing fee. Under Michigan law there is a waiting period of at least 60 days before a divorce will be granted or 180 days if children are involved.
After a party is served with a summons and complaint a response is filed also known as an Answer. This is a critical step and failing to properly file an answer may affect your legal rights. That is why if you have received a complaint for divorce, it is critical that you speak with a knowledgeable Michigan Divorce Attorney that can protect your legal rights by drafting and filing a proper answer.
After a party files an answer, a divorce case may be resolved in various ways: the parties could reach a settlement through mediation, trial or agreement by the parties. A knowledgeable and caring family law attorney will be able to ensure that your rights are protected by providing you with the personalized service needed to truly understand your unique circumstance.