Divorce is an extremely difficult thing for anyone to go through. Some studies have shown that the only thing harder than a divorce is losing a loved one. Still, some divorces are easier for those going through it than others. The amount of emotional upheaval you may feel during the process will depend on whether you or your spouse contest the divorce, and if you have already started to live separately. If you understand how divorce works in Michigan, and you know what to expect, you may find the process much easier. Below, our Royal Oak divorce lawyer explains the basics of divorce in the state.
All divorce cases in Royal Oak, and throughout Michigan, are considered no-fault. This means that to get a divorce, you must only state that the marital relationship has broken down, and that there is no chance of reconciliation. Both spouses do not have to agree to the divorce, and the filing spouse does not have to prove fault. One spouse must only state this when filing for divorce.
While divorces are only granted on no-fault grounds, fault is still taken into consideration during different parts of the process. Family courts in Royal Oak may consider fault in certain circumstances. For example, if one spouse had a gambling addiction and spent marital funds on that addiction, the other spouse may be granted more in property division matters.
Even though all divorces are considered no-fault in the state, they can still be contested, or disputed. If you and your spouse disagree on even one term of the divorce, the case is considered contested. If you and your spouse can agree to all terms without the intervention of the court or a mediator, your case is uncontested.
Michigan is one of the majority of states that still recognize legal separations. When getting legally separated, you and your spouse are still considered legally married, but you can live separately from each other. Legal separations are known as separate maintenance in Royal Oak and they come with many benefits. A couple may not want to divorce for religious purposes, or one spouse may still need access to their partner’s health benefits that they would lose during divorce.
Regardless of the reason for separation, it is still crucial to have a written legal separation agreement in place. You will still have to resolve certain issues with your spouse, including child custody, child support, alimony, property division, and more. A written separation agreement can outline these terms very clearly and prevent any disputes from forming in the future.
Divorce is very stressful, but you also have many options when going through it. At Iafrate & Salassa, our Royal Oak divorce lawyer can explain what those are, and give you the best chance of obtaining a favorable settlement. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.
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