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Divorce is not only one of the most difficult things a person will ever go through, but it is also often confusing. People do not know how to start the process, if their spouse must agree to the divorce, or how to put themselves in a good position for their case. A divorce attorney in St. Clair Shores can help with all of these issues and ensure any divorce proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Either spouse can file for divorce at any time that they wish to end their marriage. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means that one spouse simply has to state that the marital relationship has broken down and that there is no chance of reconciliation. A person does not have to prove that a spouse engaged in any wrongdoing or that he or she is at fault in any way for the divorce.
It does not technically matter which spouse files for divorce first. However, those that file first may have an advantage, as it can help with ex parte orders and potentially put the other spouse in a position of default.
The divorce process always begins with one spouse filing a summons and complaint with a court in the proper jurisdiction. In St. Clair Shores, that court would be one in Macomb County. In order to file in this county, a person must have lived in Michigan for 180 days before filing, and within Macomb County for 10 days before filing.
Once a spouse has filed for divorce, ex parte orders may also be filed. These orders ensure that the other spouse will not drain bank accounts, liquidate assets, or otherwise get rid of property that will be part of property division during the divorce.
After a spouse is served the summons and complaint of the divorce, they have 21 or 28 days to respond. The amount of time will depend on what method was used to serve the summons and complaint. If the spouse does not reply within that period of time, then he or she will be considered in default and may be banned from participating in court proceedings.
When the other spouse lives outside of the state, a person can still serve them with divorce papers. Michigan has a ‘long-arm’ statute that allows the summons and complaint to be served in another state. The other spouse will have more time to respond to the summons and complaint.
Even if your divorce starts amicably, you need a St. Clair Shores divorce lawyer helping with your case. Divorces can quickly turn bitter and if this happens, it is best if you have the help of an attorney who has been there from the very start. At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., we have the experience necessary to ensure your divorce goes as smoothly and quickly as possible so you can move forward with your life.
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