Many times, a person will file for a divorce expected that the other spouse will not argue against them. Since Michigan divides marital property as equitable distribution,1 sometimes spouses agreeing can be beneficial to If this is the case, the divorce is considered uncontested. If the divorce continues on, and the parties agree about asset division, property division, spousal or child support, and child custody, the court will not have much involvement and the case may proceed quicker.2
Despite good intentions and a prior history of cooperation, disagreements can occur during divorce proceedings causing a divorce to become contested. A contested divorce can be because the parties don’t agree on one or many things. Many time, one spouse or both may find that the complexity of court proceedings and requirements are too overwhelming or confusing to manage on their own when the divorce is contested. In this case, it may be in the best interest to have an attorney represent your interests and advise you as to Michigan laws regarding property division, child support, spousal support,3 and other issues.
Remember, you and your lawyer are a team. While the lawyer is there to represent your interest, he or she will be relying on you to provide information and the basis for their arguments. Attorneys know that each case is unique, help them to see the facts that will be for and against your position in court.
1. See Mich. Comp. Laws. § 552.19.
2. Michigan has a six-month waiting period for a divorce when parties have minor children. A motion can be filed to shorten this time, but it will not be shorter than 60 (sixty) days.
3. Formally known as alimony.