Divorce Lawyers in Michigan
Going through divorce is often a very emotional, and stressful experience. This experience becomes even more difficult when legal issues are involved. For example, legal issues may include: custodial disputes, asset disputes, and in some cases, domestic abuse/violence. During these times, it’s important to have your rights and interests protected by someone who understands the legal process within the state.
The divorce lawyers at Kelly & Kelly have over 30 year’s experience representing clients in family court. This knowledge and experience is required for defending your rights, and ensuring quality representation.
If you, or someone you know have concerns involving child custody or divorce, call our experienced family lawyers today.
High Conflict Divorce Cases
Our family law firm has successfully represented many clients in divorce cases. One of our specialties are high conflict divorce cases. These high conflict cases involve substantial financial assets, personal protection orders, domestic violence, and other serious matters. Many family lawyers are hesitant to take on high conflict divorce cases; on the other hand, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to handle these cases.
Common Questions About Divorce
Divorce is rarely something people think about until they have to; therefore, naturally, there are many questions relating to the issue. For answers to common divorce related questions, you can read our full list of divorce FAQ’s
Specialties In Divorce Cases
Kelly & Kelly P.C. handle numerous issues relating to divorce and custody in Michigan. These issues include:
Grounds for Divorce in Michigan
Michigan is a no-fault state. A couple may file for a divorce in Michigan if the marriage-relationship has broken down and their is no reasonable likelihood the marriage can be saved. For a court to grant a Michigan divorce judgment, it must have jurisdiction over the two parties, and the residency requirements must be met, which are listed in MCL 552.9(1), which states,
(1) A judgment of divorce shall not be granted by a court in this state in an action for divorce unless the complainant or defendant has resided in this state for 180 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint and, except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the complainant or defendant has resided in the county in which the complaint is filed for 10 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.
(2) A person may file a complaint for divorce in any county in the state without meeting the 10-day requirement set forth in subsection (1) if all of the following apply and are set forth in the complaint:
(a) The defendant was born in, or is a citizen of, a country other than the United States of America.
(b) The parties to the divorce action have a minor child or children.
(c) There is information that would allow the court to reasonably conclude that the minor child or children are at risk of being taken out of the United States of America and retained in another country by the defendant.
Divorce Post Judgement and Trial
In Michigan a judgment of divorce must be granted if the court finds that “there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. This judgment can be entered if the defendant fails to respond to the plaintiff’s complaint in Michigan if the parties come to a settlement agreement or after a trial. All judgments must be put on the court record and there is a 60 day waiting period for Michigan divorces without children and 6 months if minor children are involved.
A Michigan divorce judgment must contain provisions such as: pension, dower, insurance, annuity, retirement benefits, property division, spousal support and payment of support, notices regarding retroactive modification of support, a surcharge on past-due payments and the necessity to keep certain information updated with the Michigan Friend of the Court. If minor children are involved in your Michigan divorce, additional provisions are required such as custody, parenting time, support, payment of support, arrearages, health care, moving the child’s residence out of state, and any changes the child’s address. The judgment in Michigan can also contain provisions for payment of attorney fees, litigation fees, name change of a party, enforcements releases, injunction and tax exemptions.
Challenging a Divorce Judgement – In Michigan, a party may request relief from the divorce judgment by moving for a new trial/rehearing, amendment or correction of the judgment or a clarification. Motions to set aside in Michigan must be brought within one year of the judgment.
Divorce Judgement Modification – Certain provisions of a divorce judgment can be modified such as custody, parenting time, child support and spousal support, but others such as property division and alimony in gross (lump sum payment to the other spouse – different than periodic payment) are not modifiable in a Michigan divorce.
Divorce Judgement Enforcement – The divorce judgment is enforced by the court that handled the case even if all parties leave the State of Michigan. The court has the power to enforce the order, and the Michigan Friend of the Court must assist the parties in enforcing the support provisions outlined in the divorce judgment. Contempt of the court in Michigan can be used to enforce support orders, and property settlements are enforced by methods such as garnishment, attachment and execution.
What if a spouse dies during the divorce process? – In this unique situation, if the final divorce judgment has not been entered, the court is precluded from an entry of judgment of divorce, meaning there is no longer a relationship to dissolve by the court. The judgment must be in writing and signed; this is not accomplished at death, the parties are still married. There are certain limited exemptions to this rule, which you should speak to your Michigan divorce lawyer to see if these exemptions would apply to your case.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
In Michigan, alternative dispute resolution is being used more and more for settling divorces. The purpose of alternative dispute resolution in Michigan is to give the parties additional privacy, and speed up the process and long-term damage that may come from a traditional divorce proceeding. In Michigan Alternate Dispute Resolution is encouraged for all domestic relations issues.
The way this works is mediation is used until the parties reach a resolution or the parties realize that a resolution is not possible, and the parties return to the traditional divorce proceeding. If an agreement is reached between the parties, this agreement will be memorialized and handled like other traditional settlement agreements between the parties. The mediator in ADR in Michigan can also draft his/her opinion in how unresolved issues should be handled, but this is not provided to the court.
Talk To Our Divorce Lawyers Today
Kelly & Kelly P.C has decades of experience in most courts throughout the state and understands the ins-and-outs of the legal system. When you hire our firm, you get an entire team of experienced and passionate divorce lawyers working on your case. If you, or someone you know has concerns involving child custody or divorce, call and schedule a confidential consultation today.