Getting a divorce and making all the decisions that this process requires is stressful under the best circumstances. There are some instances in which spouses agree on all of the major issues, including property division, child support, child custody, and spousal support. In most cases, however, spouses disagree on at least a few key issues. It is crucial when you are going through a divorce to obtain legal representation. At Neumann Law Group, our principal, Kelly Neumann, is a knowledgeable Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids family law lawyer. She can help you navigate the difficult decisions that must be made for the benefit of your family and take your case to mediation or trial as necessary.Resolving a Family Law Matter in Michigan
Michigan allows you to file a no-fault divorce as long as at least one spouse is a resident of the state for 180 days prior to filing. This means that you will not need to prove your spouse did anything wrong in order to be granted a divorce. You will just need to show that the marriage has experienced an irretrievable breakdown, or that you will not be able to repair your relationship. If you do not want a divorce, other options include annulment or legal separation. Fault can be considered by a court when deciding whether to divide the marital property or whether to award spousal support.
Most couples accumulate significant amounts of property together, especially if they have been together a long time. Michigan follows the rule of equitable division, which means the property is to be divided fairly but not necessarily 50-50. The first thing that courts will need to decide is whether property is marital or separate. Marital property is any property acquired or earned during the course of the marriage, and it is what will be divided. For example, if you earn stock in a company during a marriage, it is considered marital property. Each spouse can keep his or her own separate property.
In some cases, spouses can figure out a compromise as to who gets which asset, and in that case you can submit a property settlement agreement to the judge and ask that it be incorporated into the final judgment of divorce. However, in other cases, spouses disagree on the character of particular pieces of property and also disagree on their value. Sometimes the parties will need to retain appraisers to value the property. If the parties are unable to agree about how to equitably divide the property, a judge will need to make the decision. Factors that the judge will consider are the duration of the marriage, what each spouse contributed to the marital estate, the spouses' needs and ages, the spouses' health, and the spouses' earning capacities. They can also consider the conduct of each spouse during the marriage.
Like other states, Michigan presumes that it is important for children to have relationships with both their parents after a divorce. In most cases, judges are predisposed toward a joint custody arrangement.Contact a Family Law Lawyer in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
At Neumann Law Group, Kelly Neumann offers experienced legal representation to couples divorcing or facing other family law issues. She is an award-winning Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City family law attorney who has the knowledge, dedication, and resources to protect your interests. Neumann Law Group represents people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. We also are available to assist clients who need an injury attorney or guidance in a criminal defense, real estate, estate planning, collections, or mediation matter. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation. Neumann Law Group additionally serves California and Massachusetts.