The divorce attorneys at Collis & Griffor PC understand how to navigate the unique nuances of Michigan divorce law inside and out — and we can help you do the same.
Whether you are initiating the divorce, have been served divorce papers or are in agreement with your spouse that a divorce is in order, you can rely on our 30-plus years of experience to get you through this difficult time. For our dedicated family law attorneys, it’s all about making sure your rights are protected and your future is secure.
What You Should Know About Divorce in Michigan
In Michigan, there are several unique aspects to divorce law. Some factors you should be aware of include:
- Fault is not required for a divorce. However, fault can be used to affect property division or spousal support (alimony).
- No divorce can be completed in less than 60 days, and if there are minor children, there is a six-month waiting period (which can be shortened in certain circumstances to 60 days) after the divorce case is filed.
- In every divorce, property, retirement assets and debts must be separated.
- Where there are children, the issues of physical custody (where the children live), legal custody (ability to access medical records to participate in the child’s education and help in religious upbringing), parenting time and child support must be determined.
- In longer term marriages or marriages with disparate incomes, one spouse may be required to pay the other spousal support.
- Property settlements may not be modified barring a fraud by one party.
- Regardless of your personal situation, having experienced counsel at your side in such a trying personal time is important.
The Steps Of A Divorce Case
All divorce matters in Michigan go through a number of steps. While each case is unique, some of these steps may need to be taken or addressed in your divorce. The list below, however, is only an overview — it is no substitute for talking to a knowledgeable professional at our office about how we can help you and your family with your specific case.
- Summons. This is a one-page document issued by the court that notifies the other spouse that a divorce action has been filed. The spouse served typically has 21 days to respond to the summons, and if they do not then a default may be entered against them.
- Complaint. The complaint is the actual document that is filed to begin the process. It includes the names of the spouses and other information about the marriage, such as whether there are minor children and how long the marriage has been.
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) affidavit. This document explains where the children have lived over the previous five years and certifies that there is no other custody action involving the children.
- Verified financial statement. This document is given to the court and other party in order to aid in the understanding of each party’s financial situation and to highlight any assets, debts or other concerns, such as medical needs or costs for the minor children.
- Verified statement to the friend of the court. This document gives the friend of the court the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, etc., of the parties involved. If the parties elect to opt out of the friend of the court, then this is not required.
- Ex parte orders. Motions to maintain the status quo are sometimes filed to make sure that the children’s home is not changed prior to entry of a temporary order. A temporary order may also be issued to prevent a party from selling, disposing or dissipating assets.
Speak With Our Trusted Legal Team
If you are looking for an experienced divorce attorney who has your best interests at heart, call Collis & Griffor PC today at 734-827-1337, or contact us online to set up an appointment for a consultation.