Contested and Uncontested Divorces in Michigan
As you may already know, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. This means that there need not be a specific reason present for a divorce action to be initiated. The only thing that needs to occur is a satisfactory showing to the court that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship, the objects of matrimony have been destroyed, and there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.
This “breakdown” can be as simple as stating that the parties have grown apart and choose to go their separate ways. There is no need to show any specific reason as to why the marriage has failed, just showing that there has been a “breakdown” is sufficient in Michigan. A divorce proceeding can be initiated by either party, at anytime, and does not require notice or consent of the other party prior to filing.
Generally speaking, there are two avenues that divorce proceedings can take. The proceedings can either be uncontested or contested. Most often, and if possible, uncontested divorces are more favorable to needs of the parties.
A Contested divorces occurs place when the divorcees are unable to agree on specific terms of the divorce, such as asset and property distribution, spousal or child support, or other details related to the case.
Contested divorces most always take longer, are costlier, and can often be more stressful for the parties. This is especially true when there are children involved, as the disagreements can stem from child custody, parenting time, or other areas that are related to the children. Divorces often become contested when parties cannot agree to support orders for spousal support or to the liquidation of assets to satisfy the fair and equitable standard of marital property distribution- which is what Michigan follows. Most often in contested divorce cases the court will end up determining the outcome of the case, which can sometimes be a negative for both parties involved.
Uncontested divorces are those that occur when both parties are amicable and agreeable on all aspects of the divorce. This includes asset and property division, child custody and parenting time, and all other factors that may present themselves during the divorce proceedings. In an uncontested divorce the parties decide among themselves what the outcome of the case is going to be.
Even though it may seem easy to do a divorce without the help of an attorney when it appears to be uncontested, this is often not the case. Complex legal documents that have long lasting effects on both parties must be drafted and filed with the appropriate court. Agreements must be constructed in a way that is enforceable should changes occur in the future, and deadlines must be met within the court system to prevent the cased from being dismissed.
It is important to contact a knowledgeable law firm, such as The Mitten Law Firm, with questions, concerns, and for direction prior to deciding what is the best option for your specific case. We have both the experience and knowledge to efficiently represent our clients from the onset through the resolution of their case- and beyond. Contact use today to set up a free consultation related to the very specific facts of your situation.