No-Fault, Contested & Uncontested Divorce
Finding the Best Path for Your Southeast Michigan Divorce
There are many reasons to hire an experienced attorney to help you through divorce. For one, it is critical to understand legal distinctions that can impact the entire process, the outcome and your costs. I listen closely to my clients and aim for clear communication. Before you make big decisions, I want you to understand the legal distinctions and all of your options.
It is risky to rely on family or friends for divorce guidance. Before you agree to anything or sign any documents, please contact me to get solid information on basic issues, including no-fault divorce and the differences between an uncontested and contested divorce. I have been practicing family law since 1979, and you can count on my up-to-date legal knowledge and insight into how our courts make decisions.
How Can One Party's Misconduct or "Fault" Affect the Outcome of a Divorce?
Proving fault is not necessary to get a divorce in Michigan. If either spouse wants out of the marriage, it will happen. Divorces are granted citing "irreparable breakdown" of the marriage, and this is what is usually meant by a no-fault divorce.
Allegations and evidence of fault certainly matter, however, because Wayne and Oakland County courts can consider them when determining division of your marital assets and either spouse's right to receive alimony/spousal support. These issues and the inability to agree on other major decisions such as child custody and parenting time or a mutually acceptable property settlement can result in a trial, in which the judge can take the conduct of the parties into consideration. Some cases should go to trial; but most should be settled along the way.
What is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested is not a matter of who is at fault, but whether you can reach agreement on all important issues out of court. If we have to go through a long "discovery" procedure (depositions, subpoenaing documents, etc.) in order to reach agreement, then it will naturally take more time than if you have an agreement to begin with. Early agreement means less work and smaller fees. But that is not always in your best interests. Don't be too concerned about whether your case is called contested or uncontested. The name is not what matters; it is the amount of disagreements that must be resolved.
Going all the way to trial with a contested divorce is often draining, time-consuming and very expensive — and, although I have successfully represented numerous men and women in divorce court, I strongly support other approaches that may resolve problems more favorably and affordably. In the right cases, this can be done without sacrificing anything to which you are entitled.
Talking to a proven, caring lawyer about divorce can be a critical step for you, your children and your future. I offer a free, no-pressure consultation for people throughout the Detroit Metro and surrounding areas. The focus will be on what's going on, what you need and how I may be able to help.