During such an emotionally difficult time, you deserve to have experienced Michigan divorce attorneys by your side. Our personal experiences drive us toward our mission of changing how people see divorce.
Supporting and educating our clients is a critical step in working cooperatively to achieve their goals. We take the time to understand our clients’ unique situations and work with them to determine the best path forward. Our firm believes it is critical to keep our clients informed at every step of the way. We treat our clients with respect, dignity, and empathy during what is often the most challenging times in their life.
A divorce is a formal process to legally dissolve a marriage. Unlike legal separation, or “separate maintenance,” as it is known in Michigan, the marriage is officially terminated, which carries significant legal consequences.
To file for divorce in Michigan, at least one of the spouses in a marriage must have lived in Michigan for at least six months, and the divorce must be filed in a county where either spouse lives.
In Michigan, divorce requires a complaint to be filed with the family court in their county. The spouse initiating the divorce must serve the papers on the other spouse. The other spouse may either file an answer to the complaint, or agree to all the terms, thereby making the divorce uncontested.
A judge may issue a Temporary Order, which will lay out the temporary arrangement on such issues as child custody and financial obligations. The divorce process usually involves extensive negotiations as to the division of assets and responsibilities relating to minor children. We strive to reach mutually-agreed-upon settlements between our clients and their spouses, but sometimes, when we cannot reach a settlement, the case must proceed to trial. Our experienced divorce attorneys know the nuances of this process and may help ensure that spouses seeking divorce do so as efficiently as possible.
In some states, a spouse must cite reasons for seeking a divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. Michigan, however, is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means a spouse who filing for divorce needs no reason other than the marriage is beyond repair. Although there does not need to be a formal cause for divorce, the spouses’ conduct during the marriage may become a factor. For example, if a spouse is found to have abandoned the other, a judge may consider that parent unfit during a custody dispute.
Our firm is particularly sensitive to the experiences of children of divorce. Children rely on consistency, but divorce can create a rapid series of changes in a child’s life. Their daily routine, where they live, and which school they attend are all subject to change. It can also be traumatizing for children to see their parents in an emotionally-charged state.
We strive to keep children out of the middle of a divorce. As much as possible we try to shield children from seeing the difficult conversations and proceedings involved in a divorce. Our attorneys are highly empathetic to the messages children need to hear during a divorce. We are happy to counsel you on ways to communicate with your child keeping their interests in mind.
Divorce often involves many other legal considerations. A divorce requires the couple to divide their property and assets equitably. The lower-earning spouse may ask for spousal support, or alimony, in order to maintain their standard of living without the additional income.
For couples with minor children, divorce requires parents to settle issues regarding child custody, parenting time, and support. Similarly, divorces rarely end at the judgment stage. Even after a divorce is formally complete, people’s circumstances change post-judgment, which may alter our clients’ divorce agreements.
Our lawyers have represented enough clients to know what pitfalls to look out for. Clients facing divorce are often overwhelmed and emotionally drained, so it is in their best interest to speak with an attorney to ensure their rights are being protected.
The team at Melissa Pearce & Associates has represented clients across southeast Michigan. We understand that divorce is rarely a simple process. It requires a series of difficult, sometimes heated, conversations. Our attorneys provide a steadying presence during negotiations to ensure our clients are making the most informed decisions possible. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact the Michigan family lawyers at Melissa Pearce & Associates to schedule a pre-engagement meeting. We take pride in working side-by-side with our clients to pursue the fairest, most equitable, and most amicable divorce possible.