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Divorce can turn your entire life upside down. Everything you have is one the line, including your children and your assets. The process is sometimes a long and complicated one, particularly for parents and individuals who have a high net worth. It is essential that anyone considering divorce works with a Sterling Heights divorce lawyer who can help you through these issues and give you the best chance of a successful outcome.
You may think that your spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Perhaps they had an affair, or maybe they developed a substance abuse problem that drastically impacted the marriage. In Michigan, fault does not play a role when filing for divorce. The spouse who files must simply state that the marital relationship has broken down and that there is little or no chance of reconciliation. No-fault divorces are beneficial for the filing divorce because it eliminates the need to prove their spouse engaged in wrongdoing.
However, fault may still be a factor in divorce. For example, if one spouse developed a drug problem and spent marital funds to support their addiction, a judge may award the non-addicted spouse more in property division.
Anyone who wishes to file for divorce in Michigan must have lived in the state for at least 180 days. When filing for divorce in Sterling Heights, individuals must have lived in Macomb County for at least 10 days prior to filing the documents with the court.
A divorce case officially begins when one spouse files a petition to dissolve the marriage with the court. In Sterling Heights, this is done in the Family Division of the Circuit Court in Macomb County. Once you have filed for divorce, you are considered the plaintiff while your spouse will be considered the defendant. The complaint is then served to your spouse and after that time, they have 21 to 28 days to respond to the complaint, depending on if the complaint was served by mail, or if your spouse is no longer in the state.
If the defendant does not deny any of the information contained within the complaint and both spouses agree to all terms of the divorce, the divorce is considered uncontested and will be finalized quite quickly. If the defendant does dispute one or more of the statements made within the complaint, or the couple cannot agree to all terms, such as child custody, the divorce becomes contested. Contested divorces must go through litigation, mediation, or another form of alternative dispute resolution before it is finalized.
Divorcing couples in Michigan are not required to work with a Sterling Heights divorce lawyer, but it is highly recommended. At Iafrate & Salassa, we will answer all of your questions about divorce, and guide you through the process. We will also ensure your rights are upheld every step of the way, and negotiate effectively to help you secure a fair settlement. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.