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Redefining Families Through Divorce

Michigan Family Law

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How We Can Help You

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    Divorce

    Divorce is often the last choice a couple wants to make. It triggers deep emotions from doubt to fear to anger. Our team understands our clients' stress level and fears and, throughout the entire process, treats each client with the respect and empathy they deserve. From our receptionist to our attorneys, everyone at Melissa Pearce & Associates understands the need for calm thinking, respectful interactions, and in reaching settlements that benefit every member of the family. Learn more about how we can help you.

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    Child Support Modifications

    The signing of a settlement agreement or final judgment of divorce may not mean the end of legal issues for parties to divorce. Families grow and change. Post-judgement adjustments may be needed to accommodate those changes. An attorney can help present the right evidence to the court to show why the requested modification is warranted based on the change of circumstances or proper cause. We are ready to stand beside you throughout the post-divorce process as well.

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    Legal Separation

    Sometimes a couple may not want to get divorced for religious, medical, or other reasons, but they need other resolutions found in divorce judgments. Thus, the seek legal separation, sometimes referred to as separate maintenance. The filing requirements are the same as filing for a divorce in Michigan. The procedures for dividing property, determine child and spousal support, and child custody are also the same. However, the couple is still legally married. Individuals can also still file a joint tax return when legally separated.

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  • upset couple sitting on a couch

Redefining Families Through Divorce

At Melissa Pearce & Associates, we understand how difficult divorce can be. Our personal experiences have taught us that divorce can put a strain on families and cause unintended trauma for children. We believe that by working cooperatively with our clients, we can not only effectively negotiate for their legal rights, but also help educate families facing divorce or separation about the complex emotions involved in the process.  Children involved in a divorce often experience severe emotional and psychological effects, which is why it is our mission to help families protect their children during this difficult and, too often, adversarial process.

Even though marriages do not always work out, everyone wants the best for their children. We believe that parents can work together to learn how to co-parent, and we are here to guide you through this transition. Our goal is to reach the most equitable and amicable agreement possible. We have been representing families in Michigan for over a decade, and we are dedicated to treating each client with respect, transparency, and dignity. Contact our office today to schedule a pre-engagement meeting so we can discuss your case with you.

Schedule Your Pre-Engagement Meeting Today
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Our Blog

Trusted Guidance From Our Team

Our goal is to demystify the divorce process for our clients. We believe that when clients understand what to expect, it makes the process less overwhelming and allows them to think more clearly and strategically. Education and access to information is an important part of working with our clients.

We encourage you to read Melissa Pearce’s extensive blog, “Redefining the Family,” and sign up for our monthly newsletter for more information about our areas of practice and special topics relating to family law.

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Terri A.

I would highly recommend legal consultation and services provided by Melissa Pearce. She is very professional, grounded, fair, and determined to support her clients. Her passion for the laws, principles and process that govern her job are obvious when watching her prepare for and manage her cases.

See More Testimonials From Our Clients

We Believe

Parents can learn how to co-parent in healthy ways.
Children thrive when parents can work together amicably.

We Believe

Parents do not want to emotionally harm their children.

 

We Believe

Forgiveness preserves family relationships.
Parents will do anything to protect their children from harm.

Meet Melissa

Melissa Pearce Founding Attorney

Melissa Pearce

person holding a wedding ring in their hands
Divorce is never an easy decision. Couples often spend years trying to resolve their marital issues, and divorce is their last choice. However, sometimes it is in the best interest of the individuals and children involved. Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can file for divorce, and they do not need to prove any of the traditional “reasons” for a divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. The spouse only needs to show that the marriage is destroyed and unlikely to be reconciled. In addition to the stress of legally ending a marriage, divorce also carries complicating factors like child custody and division of property. This time can be chaotic and emotionally strenuous, so it is helpful to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to provide guidance and support.
More Here
hand signing a document
Unlike a divorce, a separation does not legally end the marriage. A separation agreement, known as “separate maintenance” in Michigan, is usually appropriate for spouses who do not live together and may want to divide property or custody, but who do not want to be divorced for medical, tax, or religious purposes. Though the separation process in Michigan is similar to divorce, there are nuances that an experienced attorney may help explain and guide you through.
More Here
three smiling children sitting on outdoor steps
Perhaps the most difficult part of the divorce or separation process is determining child custody. At Melissa Pearce & Associates, we are particularly sensitive to the experiences of the children involved in our cases. As much as possible, we try to keep children out of the process, but unfortunately, there are times when children must be involved. In Michigan, child custody can refer to either physical or legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child resides, whereas legal custody refers to the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. This process can become contentious and emotionally charged. Our attorneys work tirelessly with our clients to reach fair and amicable child custody agreements before such an important decision falls on a judge in a courtroom.
More Here
discouraged couple sitting on opposite ends of a couch
In Michigan, spouses involved in a divorce may ask for spousal support, also known as alimony. Oftentimes in a marriage, one spouse was the primary income-earner. In the event of a divorce, however, this arrangement can lead to one spouse being left in severe financial need. There are several types of spousal support an ex-spouse may request. Our experienced lawyers understand the Michigan laws surrounding spousal support and work with our clients to achieve a fair arrangement that will allow individuals and their children to seamlessly transition into the next stage of their life. Our support for our clients does not end at the divorce judgment. We understand that circumstances and needs change over time, so we may continue to represent our clients as new issues arise, even after the divorce or separation is complete.
More Here
two hands both holding one stack of money
Divorce is never an easy decision. Couples often spend years trying to resolve their marital issues, and divorce is their last choice. However, sometimes it is in the best interest of the individuals and children involved. Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can file for divorce, and they do not need to prove any of the traditional “reasons” for a divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. The spouse only needs to show that the marriage is destroyed and unlikely to be reconciled. In addition to the stress of legally ending a marriage, divorce also carries complicating factors like child custody and division of property. This time can be chaotic and emotionally strenuous, so it is helpful to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to provide guidance and support.
More Here
person holding a wedding ring in their hands
In Michigan, both parents are legally responsible for providing financial support for a child. A paternity action is usually filed by the mother of a child to legally establish the biological father of a child. When parents are married at the time a child is born, the spouses are the child’s legal parents. However, when the parents are unmarried, paternity can either be voluntarily acknowledged through an affidavit of paternity or involuntarily established through DNA testing. Acknowledging paternity can carry significant legal impacts because it entitles the child to the father’s benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, and inheritance rights, as well as entitling the mother to child support.
More Here
woman protects her daughter from domestic violence
Family law matters are rarely clear-cut and well-defined. At Melissa Pearce & Associates, our most important priority is the safety of families and children. Relationships with loved ones and children are very personal, but unfortunately, the court must become involved sometimes to ensure the wellbeing and safety of spouses, domestic partners, and children. We have worked with many clients to seek or respond to protective orders. Our family lawyers have been serving the southeast Michigan region for over ten years and the state’s protective order process inside and out.
More Here

All Our Practice Areas

Divorce

Divorce is never an easy decision. Couples often spend years trying to resolve their marital issues, and divorce is their last choice. However, sometimes it is in the best interest of the individuals and children involved. Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse can file for divorce, and they do not need to prove any of the traditional “reasons” for a divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. The spouse only needs to show that the marriage is destroyed and unlikely to be reconciled. In addition to the stress of legally ending a marriage, divorce also carries complicating factors like child custody and division of property. This time can be chaotic and emotionally strenuous, so it is helpful to have an experienced family law attorney by your side to provide guidance and support.
More Here

Legal Separation

Unlike a divorce, a separation does not legally end the marriage. A separation agreement, known as “separate maintenance” in Michigan, is usually appropriate for spouses who do not live together and may want to divide property or custody, but who do not want to be divorced for medical, tax, or religious purposes. Though the separation process in Michigan is similar to divorce, there are nuances that an experienced attorney may help explain and guide you through.
More Here

Child Custody

Perhaps the most difficult part of the divorce or separation process is determining child custody. At Melissa Pearce & Associates, we are particularly sensitive to the experiences of the children involved in our cases. As much as possible, we try to keep children out of the process, but unfortunately, there are times when children must be involved. In Michigan, child custody can refer to either physical or legal custody. Physical custody refers to where the child resides, whereas legal custody refers to the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. This process can become contentious and emotionally charged. Our attorneys work tirelessly with our clients to reach fair and amicable child custody agreements before such an important decision falls on a judge in a courtroom.
More Here

Spousal Support

In Michigan, spouses involved in a divorce may ask for spousal support, also known as alimony. Oftentimes in a marriage, one spouse was the primary income-earner. In the event of a divorce, however, this arrangement can lead to one spouse being left in severe financial need. There are several types of spousal support an ex-spouse may request. Our experienced lawyers understand the Michigan laws surrounding spousal support and work with our clients to achieve a fair arrangement that will allow individuals and their children to seamlessly transition into the next stage of their life. Our support for our clients does not end at the divorce judgment. We understand that circumstances and needs change over time, so we may continue to represent our clients as new issues arise, even after the divorce or separation is complete.
More Here

Asset Evaluation & Distribution

During your marriage, you and your spouse may have acquired property together, such as a house, cars, businesses, stocks, or other assets. You may also have incurred debts together, such as mortgages or credit card debt. When you decide to seek a divorce or separation, all of these assets and liabilities must be divided equitably between the spouses. Equitable does not always mean exactly equal, however. In Michigan, what is equitable means what is fair under the circumstances, so courts may consider several factors, such as who contributed more to the marital property, how long the marriage lasted, and the spouses’ conduct during the marriage. It is ideal to reach a fair agreement outside of court. Our attorneys have years of experience working cooperatively with clients to reach equitable property settlements.
More Here

Paternity

In Michigan, both parents are legally responsible for providing financial support for a child. A paternity action is usually filed by the mother of a child to legally establish the biological father of a child. When parents are married at the time a child is born, the spouses are the child’s legal parents. However, when the parents are unmarried, paternity can either be voluntarily acknowledged through an affidavit of paternity or involuntarily established through DNA testing. Acknowledging paternity can carry significant legal impacts because it entitles the child to the father’s benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, and inheritance rights, as well as entitling the mother to child support.
More Here

Protective Orders

Family law matters are rarely clear-cut and well-defined. At Melissa Pearce & Associates, our most important priority is the safety of families and children. Relationships with loved ones and children are very personal, but unfortunately, the court must become involved sometimes to ensure the wellbeing and safety of spouses, domestic partners, and children. We have worked with many clients to seek or respond to protective orders. Our family lawyers have been serving the southeast Michigan region for over ten years and the state’s protective order process inside and out.
More Here

Schedule Your Pre-Engagement Meeting

Contact our legal team at any time to schedule a pre-engagement meeting with one of our client relations specialists. We strongly believe that no family should have to face divorce alone. Although filing for divorce by yourself may seem simple, our extensive experience with myriad client needs has enabled us to anticipate pitfalls and counsel our clients through a difficult process. During such a trying and emotional time, it is in our clients’ best interests to have a dedicated family lawyer by their side, fighting for their rights and for the emotional wellbeing of their children and loved ones. You can fill out this form to request a pre-engagement meeting and tell us more about your situation. We will reach out to you within the next business day.

Contact Our Experienced Attorneys for a Pre-Engagement Meeting
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys for a Pre-Engagement Meeting