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Divorce is such a difficult time that most people going through it focus on their own emotions and wonder what their lives will look like afterward. Although these considerations are important, many people do not understand the legal issues associated with divorce. A divorce lawyer in St. Clair Shores can explain the different requirements for divorce and the laws that come into play when a person decides to end a marriage. A lawyer will also ensure that you secure the fairest settlement possible, and will work to make the entire process easier on you and your family.
Many marriages break down because one spouse engaged in marital misconduct such as adultery or addiction. Even when this is the case in Michigan, spouses must file for a no-fault divorce. The benefit of this for the person who files first is that they do not have to prove the other person was at fault for the divorce. A person simply has to state that the marriage has broken down to the point where it is unlikely that the spouses will reunite.
Still, when one spouse was at fault for the divorce, it is important to raise that issue during the proceedings. Even though it is not a requirement, proving fault can still help a spouse receive more in alimony, child support, or a favorable division of property.
To file for divorce, either spouse must have lived in Michigan for a minimum of six months. The spouse who is filing first must file in the county where he or she lives, although in rarer cases, the spouse may also file in the county where the other spouse lives.
Unfortunately, a divorce cannot be finalized as soon as a couple decides to end their marriage. When the couple does not have children together, the waiting period is two months from the date one spouse files for divorce. The waiting period is a requirement even when the couple was separated prior to the divorce.
Couples that do have children together must wait at least six months from the time of filing before their divorce is finalized. However, when a couple can show that waiting the full six months would cause them or their children undue hardship, a judge may waive the waiting period. Still, a judge cannot waive the six-month requirement to shorter than the 60-day required waiting period for couples that do not have children.
Even when someone wants to get a divorce, they do not always understand the legal issues involved in Michigan. At Iafrate & Salassa, our divorce lawyers in St. Clair Shores can help. We will advise on your case, see that you meet the different requirements, and help ensure your case proceeds as smoothly as possible. If you are considering divorce, or the process has already started, call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.