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Divorce can turn your entire life upside down. You will risk losing much of what you have acquired during the marriage, including your assets and the amount of time you spend with your children. In addition to this, you may also face complications during the divorce process, such as if you or your spouse has a high net worth. If you are considering divorce, experienced divorce lawyers in Birmingham, MI can explain the steps you must take and will work in your best interests throughout the process.
The divorce process always starts with one spouse filing the complaint with the court. The complaint will outline the person’s reasons for filing for divorce and include any allegations against the other spouse.
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means a person must only state within a divorce complaint that the marital relationship has broken down and that there is no chance for reconciliation. However, it is still important to include allegations in the complaint, such as infidelity, as fault may play a role when the court is dividing assets or awarding alimony.
Many people wonder if filing for divorce first will give them an advantage throughout the process. Being the first to file does have some benefits. You have more time to prepare than your spouse will, and it may prevent your spouse from liquidating bank accounts, incurring debt, or even removing children from the marital home.
After the complaint is filed, the defendant then has 21 to 28 days to respond and address the allegations in the complaint. If the defendant does not deny any of the allegations in the complaint, the divorce is considered uncontested and will move to the finalization stage.
When a defendant denies the allegations made in a complaint, the divorce process can become quite contentious. Each spouse will go through the discovery phase, during which each party will request documents from the other side and disclose their net worth and other financial information.
After the discovery process, negotiations will begin. Typically, these negotiations occur between the Birmingham, MI divorce lawyers representing the spouses. However, couples can choose how they will resolve the disputes that arise during divorce. Mediation is sometimes the preferred choice, as it can provide a more peaceful way of getting divorced. If the couple cannot cooperate and work together to arrive at a fair settlement, the case will then enter litigation. Litigated divorces are typically the most contentious, most costly, and take the longest to finalize.
If you are considering divorce, or you have already started the process, our Birmingham, MI divorce lawyers can help. At Iafrate & Salassa, we have the necessary experience to help you through every step of the divorce process and secure the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.