Haskell Law, PC is passionate about finding effective solutions to meet clients’ legal needs. We know each case is different, and we can talk with you throughout the process to determine a beneficial course of action. Our firm has guided hundreds of clients through Michigan’s divorce litigation system. We combined compassionate, caring service with aggressive representation in the courtroom. If you are facing a contested divorce, our Grand Rapids divorce lawyer can build your case and stand by your side every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule an initial case evaluation.
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. This means you do not need to prove your spouse caused substantial harm to the marriage, whether through adultery, abuse, or other actions. All you have to do is show that the marital relationship has ended and that there is no possibility of reconciliation.
In order to file a divorce claim in Michigan, you must have resided in the state for at least 180 days. Divorce proceedings occur in county circuit courts, where judges are specifically appointed to hear divorce cases in the Family Court division. If minor children are involved, the final judgment will not be finalized for at least 6 months. Michigan law defines minor children as those under the age of 18, or those under the age of 19 ½ who haven’t graduated high school.
Contested divorce occurs when you and your spouse disagree on any factors of the case. The process starts when one party files a complaint of divorce in the county circuit court. Once the complaint is filed, a copy will be served to the other spouse. This can be done in a variety of ways, but typically, the complaint is delivered by a process server directly to the other party.
Contested divorce may involve disagreements about:
Your spouse has 21 days to answer the complaint from the day they are served. If they do not respond, you can file for default and proceed with the divorce in court. If you and your spouse agree about the factors of divorce, you may enter a stipulated order. However, if you disagree about a specific matter, you may file a motion for relief. The motion will be considered by the judge, who will analyze the situation and make a decision regarding the motion.
In order to reach a decision, the judge may order a hearing. You and your spouse will be able to present your case in court, and include witness testimonies from both sides. Once the judge issues an order concerning the divorce matter, it is binding on both parties. If you are preparing for a contested divorce hearing, our Grand Rapids divorce attorney at Haskell Law, PC can guide you through the legal process and represent you in court.
If an agreement cannot be made out of court through mediation or arbitration, the judge will order a trial. Contested divorce proceedings can be complicated, particularly if there are multiple points of disagreement and emotional tension between the parties. It is important to have experienced legal counsel throughout the process, especially in the discovery phase.
During the discovery stage, you will need to provide the following:
During the trial, you will present evidence and argue your case against your spouse. Depending on the complexity of the situation, the trial may last a few hours or a few days. At the conclusion, the judge will deliver an Opinion regarding the disputed issues. The judge will also sign the Judgment of Divorce papers, finalizing the process. The marriage will then be officially dissolved.
If you are facing a contested divorce, we can provide knowledgeable legal assistance. Our attorney cares about each client and can work hard to help you seek a beneficial solution. Family law matters are often emotional and difficult. With our compassionate, experienced services, you can receive the quality advice and representation you need for your case.
Call our office today at (616) 920-6664 for personal legal assistance in a contested divorce.