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What Are Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Michigan?

What Are Some Common Misconceptions People Have About Working With A Divorce Attorney?

People have many misconceptions about working with a divorce attorney because if it is the first time they are going through it, they are often unaware of the full process and the scope of work that attorneys do in a divorce. Some are worried about losing their assets, the children, and fearful how much money this will all cost.. Our goal as divorce attorneys is to protect the client’s assets, negotiate a fair settlement, protect the children’s best interests, and educate/guide the client through the legal process so they can make informed decisions about their future. 

Another misconception is that if the parties are getting along and agree on the issues, they do not need lawyers; they only need to hire a lawyer when there is a dispute. The truth is that even if they think they have an agreement with their spouse on all issues in a divorce, if they own real estate, have investment or retirement accounts, or have minor children, a divorce case can quickly get too complex without legal advice.

The reality is that it is necessary and helpful to have an experienced lawyer properly to draft (or respond), file and serve the appropriate legal paperwork, navigate the court system and appear on their behalf in court.  Without someone knowledgeable educating and guiding an individual through the process, the very issues they fear can easily happen, and it becomes necessary to hire a lawyer to try to fix them. 

Another misconception is that it’s okay for the parties to share an attorney, that it doesn't matter who files first, and that Michigan is not an alimony state. All of these are fallacies. 

What Are The Common Reasons For Filing For Divorce?

Potential clients come in with all sorts of reasons as to why they need or want to seek a divorce. It's important to point out that a person does not need a reason to file for divorce because Michigan is what's known as a "no-fault state". Nonetheless, there is usually a story to be told, and the client is always asked if there is a reason for filing for divorce. These reasons can sometimes be relevant to the divorce case itself even if it's not necessary to start a divorce case.

Potential clients often will say that they argue with their spouse, cannot get along, or are not on the same page. Some also refer to financial difficulties as a cause for the breakdown of a marriage. Another common reason people cite for wanting a divorce is adultery, either on their part or on the part of their spouse. In other cases, there may be allegations of mental health problems, substance abuse, and even mental or physical abuse.

We help the client work through these reasons and prepare for their divorce. In addition to being a no-fault state, Michigan also does not require divorcing couples to attend any type of couple's therapy prior to getting divorced. 

Is There A Typical Divorce Client In Michigan?

Every situation has a unique set of circumstances, but a vast majority of our divorce clients are individuals are looking for a divorce attorney with expertise in the perspective of men and fathers in divorce, which ADAM specializes in.

We’ve seen men and women view the divorce process and the issues in a divorce very differently. Men are more likely to be able to discuss major issues in the divorce case early in the process. At the beginning of a divorce, a man might suggest making a settlement proposal to his wife right away. He will want to open the discussions to determine what to do with the marital home, retirement accounts, savings, cars and debts. A woman, on the other hand, is not usually ready to start discussing those issues so early in the divorce process, even if she's the one who initiated the divorce.

What About Common Law Divorce In Michigan?

Michigan does not recognize common law marriages. Everything starts from the date of marriage forward. So if you are looking at the number of years for something like alimony, real estate, retirement and investment accounts, real estate, etc., the length of the relationship prior to being married is not relevant in the divorce matter.

Because of this fact, people who are not married and decide to part ways have a very different set of laws and rules that apply to them than would individuals who are married.

If you need answers to more questions related to Divorce in Michigan, call The American Divorce Association for Men for a FREE initial telephone consultation at (248) 327-0050.

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.

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