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Divorce is extremely stressful and emotional, but it is also a legal process. It is crucial that anyone getting a divorce understands how it works and the requirements outlined under Michigan law. Although divorce is never easy, being prepared can help your case and provide an understanding of what you should expect. A Bloomfield Hills divorce attorney can prepare you for the process, explain the law and how it applies to your case, and help you secure the fair settlement you deserve.
Filing divorce papers with the court is just the beginning of the process. Once you or your spouse has filed the papers, you must wait at least 60 days before your divorce is finalized. If there are children involved, the waiting period for divorce is extended to six months. It is important to know that these are just the minimum waiting periods required by law. Some cases can take several months, or even years, depending on the issues involved and how contentious the divorce process is.
Under Michigan law, the party that files for divorce must have lived in the state for a minimum of 180 days prior to filing. The filing spouse must have also lived in the county in which they file divorce for at least ten days. There are some exceptions to these requirements, but generally speaking, the filing spouse must comply with these rules.
When one spouse does not live in the state, the other party can still file for divorce in Michigan under the ‘long-arm’ statute. The main difference in these cases is that the out-of-state party is given additional time to respond to the complaint and summons.
When filing for divorce in Bloomfield Hills, you do not have to prove your spouse was at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, and you must only state that there has been a breakdown in the marital relationship and that there is very little chance of reconciliation.
Although fault is not taken into consideration when a judge grants a divorce, it does play a role in property division, child custody, and spousal support hearings. For example, if one spouse had an affair and spent marital funds on the extramarital relationship, a judge may award the other party more in spousal support.
Going through a divorce is one of the most challenging things a person will ever have to do, but you do not have to do it alone. At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., our Bloomfield Hills divorce attorneys are here to help. We have the necessary experience to guide you through the process, negotiate effectively with your spouse and their legal counsel, and help you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. If you are going through a divorce, call us today or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.