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Divorce Attorney in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Divorce or legal separation can be a lonely process. The person you thought you would face life’s challenges with is on the other side of a divorce complaint filed in court. It is something approximately 30,000 couples face in Michigan every year. Even in amicable divorces, and even without a legal requirement to place blame, some issues may be contentious.

You do not have to face divorce on your own. Attorney John Bailey has been guiding clients through divorces in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Ann Arbor, Belleville, Kalamazoo, and Portage for 30 years. If you are thinking about divorce or are getting one, you need an advocate in negotiations and in court.

Who Can File for Divorce in Michigan?

So long as you or your spouse has resided in Michigan for at least 180 days immediately prior to filing, you are eligible to file for divorce in the state. You or your spouse must have lived for at least the last 10 days in the county in which the divorce complaint is filed. If your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, you share a child under the age of 18, and a judge believes there is a risk the spouse could leave the country with the child, you can file in any county, regardless of the 10-day residency requirement.

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What Are Grounds for Divorce in Michigan?

Michigan is solely a no-fault state for divorce. This means that a spouse can divorce the other spouse without their consent, so long as they can prove the marriage cannot be preserved and is irretrievably broken. Examples of such evidence would include a spouse who leaves the marital home and moves in with a romantic partner, one who refuses to cohabitate as husband and wife, or a history of physical or emotional abuse.

Behavior during the marriage, such as adultery, is not necessarily a consideration in a Michigan divorce, although the judge may consider it in property division, in the awarding of spousal support, and in the child support and custody agreement. If, for example, a spouse spent significant sums of money on an adultery partner, the judge has the latitude to factor it while dividing marital property.

What Are the Differences Between
Contested and Uncontested Divorce?

In a contested divorce, the spouses do not agree on all terms of the divorce, even if they both agree the divorce is necessary. Many couples begin the divorce process believing they will agree on the terms but discover they cannot agree on dividing property or on matters involved with custody of their children. Disagreements will be aired at trial and a judge will decide contested matters.

In an uncontested divorce, the couple agrees to terms and presents the court with agreements regarding child custody, visitation, child support, tax deductions and exemptions, division of marital assets and debts, terms of alimony, and more. The court will review and must approve the agreements; however, there is no need for a trial.

How Long Will It Take to Get a Divorce?

The couple’s ability to agree on the terms of the divorce—or the lack thereof—will help determine the time it takes from the filing of the complaint to the issuance of the divorce decree. In both instances, there is a 30-day waiting period before the judge will hear your case, or a 180-day waiting period if you and your spouse have minor children. This allows time for spouses to change their minds should they wish to do so.

It stands to reason that a contested divorce will take longer due to the need for court hearings.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney?

Even in an uncontested and amicable divorce, it is wise to work with an experienced family law attorney. Your attorney is your advocate in negotiating agreements with your spouse, an objective and logical professional when issues become emotional, and a seasoned litigator before a judge, even when there is no trial.

Your attorney can make the process far less stressful for you, which in turn helps your children. Moreover, working with a family law attorney means you do not have to make the journey alone.

Divorce Attorney in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Even under the best of circumstances, divorce is a struggle on many fronts. If you are considering divorce or have been served with a copy of the complaint and summons, talk to Attorney John Bailey. Hundreds of clients in Ypsilanti, Michigan and surrounding communities have relied on him to help them navigate the process. He can help you, too. Contact The Law Offices of John R. Bailey to set up a time to talk.