Our Divorce Attorney Team at LaBre Law Office Will Represent You in All Facets of Divorce in Michigan and Indiana.
Do You Need The Help of an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Michigan?
Divorce is never a word you want to hear; it is often a stressful, frightening, and difficult process that many people would rather not have to endure. At LaBre Law Office, we understand how traumatic a divorce can be. We are here for you now, throughout the process, and long after your divorce is finalized. Our experienced divorce attorney team is prepared to help you navigate these challenges while prioritizing your goals.
Depending on your level of agreement with your spouse on certain issues and whether you have children, a divorce can encompass many interrelated potential conflicts. We have helped our clients navigate many complicated divorce cases in the past, and we are ready to put our extensive knowledge to work for you and your interests.
As you are going through your divorce, you need a legal team you can rely on to provide steady guidance and advocate on your behalf. Our dedicated team provides compassionate legal service during your time of need. Call us today to schedule a consultation so we can assess your unique divorce case and begin charting your strategy.
Types of Divorce in Michigan
Marriages in Michigan may end through one of the following, depending on your circumstances and goals.
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. The court will generally grant a divorce if it is proven there has been a breakdown in the marriage that cannot be fixed.
There are two types of divorce in Michigan: contested divorce and uncontested divorce. You may work with an uncontested divorce attorney if you and your spouse are in comprehensive agreement on all of the issues surrounding your divorce, assets, children, and responsibilities going forward. Otherwise, you will likely need to work with a contested divorce attorney during a more traditional divorce process. At LaBre Law Office, we are prepared to guide you and represent you through the duration of the divorce process applicable to your case. You may be able to come closer to agreement through mediation.
There is a 60-day waiting period to finalize the divorce, and this is extended to six months if you and your spouse have minor children. In Michigan, either you or your spouse will need to be a resident in the county where you file your divorce complaint.
Concerns and Facets of Divorce
Our attorneys are experienced in divorce law and will sit with you to discuss crucial decisions about children and division of assets. We will work with you to develop a legal strategy specific to your situation including:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Equitable Distribution of Assets
- Division of Debts
- Parenting Time
- Grandparenting Time
- Sale of the Marital Home
- Spousal Support
As you are facing a divorce, our attorneys are here for you now, throughout the process and long after the divorce is finalized. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to provide you with compassionate legal service during this difficult time.
Division of Property, Custody of Children, and Provision of Support
In Michigan, as in many other states, divorce proceedings involve several key elements: division of property, child custody, and support (both child and spousal). Here’s how each of these factors into a divorce:
Division of Property
Michigan follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that all marital property – assets and debts acquired during the marriage – is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Several factors are considered in this division, including the length of the marriage, contributions of each party to the marital estate, each party’s earning potential, and the needs of each party. It’s important to note that “separate property,” or assets owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, is generally not subject to division unless the court finds that the other spouse contributed to its increase in value.
In Michigan, two types of custody are considered: legal custody (who makes major decisions about the child’s life) and physical custody (with whom the child lives). The court’s primary consideration is the interest of the child. Factors considered include the emotional ties between parents and the child, the capacity of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, etc., the length of time the child has lived in a stable environment, and more. Joint custody may be granted if it is in the interest of the child.
Both parents are obliged to support their children financially. In Michigan, child support is calculated using the Michigan Child Support Formula, which takes into account both parents’ incomes, the number of children, and the custody arrangement, among other factors. Child support is typically paid until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later.
Spousal Support (Alimony)
Alimony is not an automatic right in Michigan. The court decides whether to award it based on factors such as the parties’ ages, health, needs, ability to work, fault in the divorce, and standard of living during the marriage. The goal of spousal support is to balance the incomes and needs of both parties, so neither is impoverished by the divorce.
Each of these concerns plays a significant role in Michigan divorce proceedings. If you are navigating a divorce, you should consult with an experienced Michigan divorce attorney to fully understand your rights and obligations.
Divorce Mediation May Be an Option For You
Divorce mediation is often a favorable option for couples seeking a divorce in Michigan. In this process, a neutral third party — the mediator — helps the divorcing couple negotiate and reach agreement on contested issues, such as property division, child custody, and support.
Divorce mediation promotes compromise and reduces hostility in several ways:
- Encouraging Communication: Mediation allows both parties to communicate openly and honestly about their needs and concerns, fostering understanding and compromise.
- Reducing Hostility: The mediator facilitates respectful dialogue and prevents the discussion from becoming antagonistic. This can help preserve relationships, which is particularly important when children are involved.
- Empowering Decision-Making: In mediation, the couple retains control over their decisions, rather than handing them off to a judge. This can lead to more satisfactory outcomes for both parties.
The benefits of mediation over litigation in Michigan include:
- Cost-Effectiveness: Mediation is typically less expensive than litigation due to lower legal fees and court costs.
- Time-Efficiency: Mediation can be scheduled at the convenience of all parties involved and typically resolves faster than court proceedings.
- Confidentiality: Unlike court trials, mediation is private and confidential. The details of the discussions and agreements are not part of public record.
- Less Stressfulness: The informal setting and cooperative nature of mediation can significantly reduce stress and anxiety associated with divorce.
- Customizable Solutions: Mediation offers flexibility to develop creative solutions tailored to the unique needs of your family.
While divorce is challenging, a divorce mediation attorney can guide you in pursuit of a more amicable, cost-effective, and efficient way to navigate this process in Michigan. However, you should have an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer review any agreements before finalizing to ensure your interests are protected.
Is a Legal Separation or an Annulment More Appropriate for Your Situation?
While divorce is often the primary route for ending a marriage in Michigan, legal separation or annulment may be more appropriate options in certain circumstances.
Also known as “Separate Maintenance” in Michigan, legal separation does not legally end the marriage but allows the couple to live separately while remaining married. The court will still determine issues like property division, child custody and support, and spousal support. This may be a more appropriate option under some of the following circumstances:
- Religious Beliefs: Some couples may have religious or moral objections to divorce. Legal separation allows them to live separately without violating their beliefs.
- Health Insurance: If one spouse depends on the other’s health insurance, they may opt for legal separation to maintain coverage, as the majority of insurance policies terminate coverage in the event of a divorce.
- Uncertainty: If the couple is unsure about divorcing and need time apart to decide, legal separation provides that opportunity.
This is a declaration by the court that the marriage was never valid or legal. An annulment may be more appropriate if the circumstances involve any of the following:
- Fraud or Misrepresentation: If one spouse lied or hid significant facts at the time of the marriage (like the ability to have children or a hidden criminal history), an annulment may be possible.
- Incest or Bigamy: A marriage is void if the parties are closely related or if one party is already legally married to someone else.
- Underage: If one or both spouses were underage when they got married and did not secure the required parental consent, the spouses can seek an annulment.
- Coercion: If one party was forced or threatened into the marriage, it could be grounds for annulment.
It’s important to note that the standards for granting an annulment are quite high, and they are relatively rare in Michigan.
While divorce is often the route many couples take to end a marriage, legal separation or annulment may be more suitable depending on the specific circumstances. Your divorce attorney can help you determine the right option for your situation and help you pursue your next steps.
Contact LaBre Law Office To Begin Planning The Next Steps Into Your Future
So much rides on the decisions made during a divorce and during conversations and negotiations leading up to it. You need a legal team that recognizes the implications for your future and can help you avoid the types of pitfalls that threaten to negatively affect your life for many years to come. At LaBre Law Office, we are prepared to serve your divorce needs throughout the “Michiana” area, as we are licensed on both sides of the Michigan-Indiana border.
Contact LaBre Law Office today to schedule a consultation. We will consider the different facets that apply to your unique divorce case and help you envision the path to your new future with a tailored strategic plan with your goals and interests in mind.
LaBre Law Office — Excellence is Our Standard
Every situation is different and requires personalized legal strategy and attention. Tell us about your current situation and we would be happy to discuss your legal options. We have the skills, experience and resources needed to provide you with compassionate legal service.
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Why Choose LaBre Law Office?
Our clients in the Michiana area have confidence when LaBre Law Office handles their legal issues because our general practice law firm has established a record as a trusted member of the community for over four decades, serving our neighbors:
- Caring, aggressive advocacy for your interests in many practice areas
- We represent clients in both Michigan and Indiana
- Straightforward, assertive, and dependable guidance
- Unique legal strategies tailored to each specific case
- We fully address your concerns so you always understand your case’s status
- We will be here for you long after your legal issue is resolved
Excellence is our standard. Call today to schedule a consultation.
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