Going through the dissolution of a marriage is often much like going through the death of an immediate family member – emotions are raw, there is a feeling of loss, and the family unit is forever altered. At Kizy Law, we are sensitive to our clients’ concerns over how to begin again after going through a divorce.
When you come to our offices to discuss an impending or recent divorce, we sit down and formulate a strategy to accomplish your goals. We will protect and fight for your legal rights. We will assess your particular situation so that we can offer assistance that is tailored to fit your needs and goals. We know divorce is never easy, but at Kizy Law we can help you start out on the right foot. We do this by providing you with the skills and resources you need to help you get back on your feet. At the same time, we work to ensure that your rights are protected. Call us today at 248-662-5499 for your free consultation.
Michigan is a “no fault” divorce state. This simply means that a person seeking a divorce does not have to prove that the other party is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The only statutory requirement is that one party must be able to allege that the marriage relationship has broken down to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. Only one spouse needs to believe the marriage is over in order for the court to grant the divorce.
There are several issues that need to be decided in a divorce action including: property division, payment of debts, spousal support, payment of attorney fees; and if there are minor children then custody, parenting time and child support.
In order to initiate a divorce action, a complaint for divorce must be filed with the Circuit Court in the county where one of the parties resides. Once the complaint has been filed, the court issues a summons which allows the other party to be served with the complaint for divorce and any other initial pleadings or orders.
The spouse filing the complaint is known as the plaintiff and the spouse who is served with divorce documents is the defendant. After the defendant is served, he or she has a specific period of time to respond. If the defendant fails to respond within the time allotted, then the defendant can be put into default and the case will proceed without his or her input. The process varies slightly for divorce with children versus divorce without children.
There is a 180 day waiting period to finalize a divorce with children. This waiting period can be waived under certain circumstances. Parties involved in a divorce without minor children can be divorced 60 days after the date of filing, so long as the parties have reached a settlement. The process also varies slightly from county to county. However, every court will set dates by which the parties and their attorneys must accomplish certain tasks.
There is a period called “discovery” when the parties exchange information in writing or by conducting depositions and issuing subpoenas. After the issues in the case have been identified and the information has been gathered, the settlement negotiations begin.
The vast majority of divorce cases settle without much court intervention. However, if settlement is not likely, the court will order mediation whereby the parties appear before a neutral and experienced family law practitioner who will attempt to facilitate a settlement. If this fails then the case will proceed to a trial where both parties will present testimony and the judge will decide all disputed issues.
The most important part of the process is the initial meeting with an attorney for strategic planning. A divorce is more likely to proceed smoothly if the client and the attorney have a clear understanding of the goals and expectations relating to the divorce process. You will want to make sure that you have an aggressive, skilled attorney from Kizy Law who understands your case, your interests and needs in representing you throughout the entire process. Call us today at 248-662-5499 for your free consultation.