As family law and divorce attorneys, we are frequently asked: what do I do if I am served with a complaint for divorce? How does Michigan handle divorce? How long do I have to respond? What is default?…
In the shadow of a failing marriage and the accompanying emotional pain, divorce is often the only solution to a better life. It is a very consequential decision to make and one that should not be taken lightly. Before a woman files for divorce, she should ask herself seven key questions.
Seven Questions to Ask Before Filing for Divorce
- Has my marriage broken down to the point that it cannot be saved?
- If I divorce my husband, do I have a realistic plan for myself so that I will be in a position to provide for my needs and those of my children?
- Will my family and friends support me in this decision?
- How will my life improve after I am divorced?
- Is there enough income and property to allow me to maintain a similar or even better lifestyle as one household becomes two?
- How easily do I adapt to change?
- Do I have good knowledge of our financial affairs?
These questions should not be asked, however, until you have been educated as to your rights and the remedies available to you in a divorce situation. Then, you can answer these questions understanding what will be available to you by way of support and property settlement. A consultation with one of our divorce attorneys will fill this need.
If you’ve made the decision to file for divorce, start by being an advocate for yourself. Our family law and divorce attorneys are here to help you. Attend one of our free educational seminars or call and speak with one of our divorce lawyers.
You’ve heard of the expression: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It applies to the practice of law, now, more than ever. As time goes on, the laws change and procedures change. The need to deal with a specialist is paramount as there is a separate body of law for each legal subject that the practitioner must know. With family law, there is even a separate division of the Circuit Court (Family Court Division) to handle the cases. An attorney will also have to deal with the Friend of the Court personnel for each county in which they practice. If an attorney is out of their element, how effective can he or she be? If the matter is highly contested and/or there are complex issues, the answer becomes even more obvious.
Many attorneys, who have no concentration in family law, will accept any case that walks in the door because it helps pay the bills. Most of them think that divorces and other family law cases can be easily handled within a short time frame. This type of attitude often leads to disastrous results. Most times, it’s too late to correct the mistakes that led to a poor outcome but the client must suffer the consequences. You can set yourself up for a positive result by being proactive: interview the attorney and find out if you feel comfortable with their background in family law and the way they present to you. A reference from a friend is only a beginning, you have to do the rest.
If you’ve contemplating divorce, start by being an advocate for yourself. Our family law and divorce attorneys are here to help you. Attend one of our free educational seminars or call and speak with one of our divorce lawyers.
In Michigan, legal separation is referred to as “Separate Maintenance”. A separate maintenance agreement is not appropriate for every situation. You can physically separate on your own without any legal intervention. However, if you want to ensure that certain protections such as bills getting paid or that you receive support for you and your children, you will need to have the involvement of the Family Court.
Separate maintenance is an action that is very similar to divorce so it is not cost effective if you plan on ultimately obtaining a divorce. In a separate maintenance action, all of the same things are done that occur in a divorce case: determination of spousal support; resolving the children issues; division of property and debt. Also, if an action for separate maintenance is filed in Michigan and the opposing party files a counterclaim for divorce in the action, the divorce will automatically be granted by the court.
Separate maintenance is appropriate in situations where the parties want to try to live separately while they attempt to work on saving their marriage or try to figure out if they even want to reconcile. The most common situation for utilizing separate maintenance is with elderly, sick, or unemployed spouses with a pre-existing health condition, who cannot afford to lose their health insurance and need to stay on the employed spouse’s health care plan. In certain situations, it may also be beneficial to a party who is contributing most of the financial support for the family, to file taxes jointly, which can be done under a separate maintenance, but not once you are divorced. Often there are religious reasons why people choose separate maintenance as it will bring peace to their lives and an end to the marital turmoil without actually getting divorced.
If you’ve contemplating legal separation or divorce, start by being an advocate for yourself. Our family law and divorce attorneys are here to help you. Call and speak with one of our attorneys.