If you are unhappy in your marriage and are thinking about divorce, you probably have questions.
Our experienced divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Harris & Literski know this can be a difficult time. Here are some answers that will help you understand the process.
Where do I file for divorce?
Either you or your former partner must have lived in Michigan at least 180 days. You must have lived in the county where you are filing for 10 days.
Do I need a lawyer?
All divorces are unique, and your situation will determine your need for an attorney. However, problems often arise when people try to handle a divorce without a lawyer. An experienced divorce attorney can make the process easier and less stressful.
What are the steps in the divorce process?
Here is the basic process for a divorce:
- File for divorce
- Serving of divorce papers. Your spouse must receive them within 90 days of the divorce filing. The spouse has 21 days to respond. If there is no response, the court could make a default judgement
- Court makes a temporary order to cover child custody, visitation or other issues
- Discovery (an exchange of information)
- Settlement or trial
How long does it take to get a divorce?
If there are no children, it usually takes between 60 days to nine months. With children, it could take from six months to a year.
How is child custody decided?
Courts consider 12 factors:
- Parent/child ties
- Ability to support the children
- Moral fitness
- Mental/physical health
- Home, school and community connections
- Child’s preference
- Willingness to support the other parent’s relationship with the child
- Any history of domestic violence
- Other factors deemed important by the court
How is child support determined?
It will be based on the net monthly income of both parents and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
Will I have to pay alimony?
Many factors can be considered when calculating alimony, including:
- Ability to pay
- Division of marital property
- Earning ability
- Living standards
How is marital property divided?
The court will try to divide property in a fair and equitable manner. This means it will decide if the property is separate or marital. Generally, marital property (including assets) that were acquired by the couple during the marriage is owned equally. Property that was brought into the marriage is considered separate and belongs to the person who owned it before the marriage.