Filing for divorce can be an emotional and confusing experience. You’re searching the internet for answers, and wonder if the information you are finding is correct. Search no more.
The following are a few common divorce questions asked and answered.
YES. If your divorce case is ongoing, you may change attorneys. There are two ways to do this. The first is through a stipulation to withdraw. You may release your attorney from your case by signing a stipulation to allow their withdrawal. Your attorney will prepare this document, each of you will sign it, and it will be signed by the judge. Or, if you are retaining a new attorney, your new attorney can prepare a substitution of counsel, which substitutes new counsel for your former counsel. This document will be signed by both attorneys and yourself, and then signed by the judge.
NO. It doesn’t matter where you were married. What matters is where you live now. You would not file your divorce action in the State you were married unless you are still a resident of that State. All states have residency requirements to file for a divorce. In Michigan, you must be a resident of the State of Michigan for 180 days before filing, and a resident of the county you intend to file in for 10 days.
NO. If your spouse lives in another state, you may seek a divorce in the state you live.
But, if your spouse lives in one state, and you live in another state, you may file only in the state you live in and your spouse is entitled to file in the state they live in. Once again, you must meet the residency requirements to file for divorce (see above answer).
NO. There is no legal requirement that you hire an attorney to file your divorce case. However, if you have property, assets, a business, or minor children, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney. Laws surrounding divorce can be complex. As divorce can be emotional and messy, it’s natural for anyone going through a divorce to want to protect their financial interests and get the best custody outcome possible. Maintaining an objective view of the situation can be difficult when you are struggling with complex emotional issues and personal tensions in your divorce. Hiring an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer, can help you maintain control what you are most concerned about.
YES. Even though your spouse takes no action, you will be granted a divorce. If you filed a complaint for divorce, and your spouse failed to file an answer, then a default is entered in your case and a copy mailed to your spouse. After the default is entered, and the statutory time has passed, you may request a final hearing. At that final hearing, the court will enter a default judgment of divorce granting your divorce.
NO. You are not required to be separated before you file a divorce case in Michigan.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC, we understand filing for divorce can be an emotional and confusing experience. That’s why we are committed to providing personalized service to each client we represent and will be with you through this difficult journey. At Schmitt Law, PLLC we encourage clients to take a more collaborative approach to divorce that promotes positive communication and cooperation. Through mediation or the collaborative divorce process, Laurie guides her clients through amicable divorce settlements so they can move forward with their life. To discuss your circumstances and legal options, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation. Or, contact us online to arrange a consultation. Our office is located at 401 Hall Street SW, Suite 112D, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.