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Common Questions Asked In Divorce Cases

What Issues, Like Domestic Violence, Affect A Divorce Case?

There can be domestic violence issues and/or allegations of physical or mental abuse, real or perceived, in a divorce. These situations can become very complex and adversely affect the circumstances in a divorce case, especially as it pertains to use of the marital home, custody and parenting time. 

Mistakes can be made when it comes to allegations of abuse that become difficult to undo later. If these circumstances apply to your situation, it is crucial to get advice from an attorney as early as possible.

ADAM not only has expertise in divorce and family law, but also deals directly with criminal charges and child protective services. They know criminal defense matters and can protect you and advise you in any situation.

What Are Some Common Misconceptions People Have About Divorce?

Some common misconceptions of divorce include how long the divorce will take, how much it will cost, the level of difficulty involved with the divorce case, and whether you are required to go to court to get divorced.

It is also a common misbelief that there is no such thing as alimony or spousal support. Another common misconception is defining a divorce as either contested or uncontested when Michigan courts do not differentiate between the two. 

Should Someone Choose Mediation vs. The Court Process In A Divorce Case?

Mediation is commonly part of a divorce action. There is no way to independently use mediation and not go to court to become divorced. The only place that a divorce can actually be granted is in a courtroom by a judge so it's not a question of mediation being better than divorce; it's more a question of whether mediation will be necessary during your divorce to resolve issues between the parties. Typically, about 95% of all divorce cases are settled. How those cases settle in the process can vary widely, depending on the clients and the court system. There are a large majority of cases that end up going through alternative dispute resolution, which can include mediation.

A typical mediation process will involve the divorce clients going to a mediator, normally a third party attorney, and presenting the issues they disagree on. The mediator then makes suggestions and works through the issues with both parties to help reach an agreement. The mediation process is voluntary and, therefore, no one can be forced to use mediation or forced to make an agreement. 

The mediation process is a good thing in a divorce matter and is recommended to clients whenever appropriate. The client is always going to be better off with an agreement that they have a say in as opposed to being stuck with a decision from the judge that they have had no say in. 

There are ground rules with reaching an agreement on the various issues in a divorce case. First, there can be no enforceable agreement prior to a divorce or legal separation being  filed. So, step one is to file for divorce, not coerce your spouse into a written agreement, and then later file for divorce. To reach an agreement prior to filing for divorce runs the risk of any agreement being unenforceable once the case is actually started.

How Is A Successful Outcome In A Divorce Case Defined?

The best way to have a successful outcome is to define, early on, how realistic your expectations are going to be. This is where the experience of your divorce attorney becomes particularly important. It is advisable to cover the specifics with your attorney early on no matter what the issue is, so that you know what is realistic, what is possible, and what is nonsense your friend or co-worker told you. 

If your friends are telling you there is no way you will have to pay alimony or spousal support to your spouse because they were unfaithful, you should discuss this issue with your attorney and adjust your expectations after they examine your specific situation.

By the way, adultery in and of itself will not necessarily affect a decision to pay spousal support.  Also, if you’ve been told that there is no alimony because you have been married less than ten years, or that Michigan is not an alimony state, both of those statements are untrue.

If you get your preliminary questions answered properly, you will know what to expect, and have a better outcome.

If you're preparing for divorce, contact the American Divorce Association for Men for a FREE initial telephone consultation at 248-356-ADAM (2326), and get the information and legal answers you're seeking.

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce attorneys for men.