Making the choice to divorce is a big deal. A really big deal. You won’t be making this decision on a whim, nor should you make it without empowering yourself with information. Here are 6 things you need to know when considering divorce.
Know when to see a lawyer.
A divorce is a major undertaking in so many ways – mentally, emotionally, financially, physically – and myriad factors will intervene with how the entire process will play out. It is important to consult with us sooner rather than later. We aren’t just saying that because we are divorce lawyers! We recommend that you meet with a divorce lawyer because we have seen, first hand, how important it can be to have a process and strategy in place as you begin down the path toward closure, and to have someone help you foresee the unknown or unexpected expenses and challenges that may lie ahead when considering divorce.
At this challenging time of your life, you need someone who not only knows the process, but who will educate you, empower you, listen to you, and appreciate your goals. Don’t assume anything. Divorces are regularly portrayed on television and in movies. But media and tv are not quality sources of information or advice. Neither is your neighbor, your hairdresser, or your dry cleaner. We recommend that you start by reading – a lot – in order to empower yourself when considering divorce.
Visit our extensive online library of articles that will help you begin to understand divorce in Michigan. Then, contact us here at Findling Law for an evaluation of your particular circumstances. Our goal at this stage – and always – is to assist you in achieving your goals and finding happiness again without compromising your principles.
The basics about when to file.
Things can only move so fast, so be patient. In simple terms, the statutory waiting period for a divorce in Michigan without a minor child is 60 days and the statutory waiting period for a divorce with a minor child is 6 months. However, there are times when the statutory waiting period will be waived if the court agrees that there is undue hardship or a compelling necessity. You can learn more about this by clicking here.
It is always best to talk to us about your situation so that we can help you understand what requirements you may have to meet in your particular case. Don’t assume anything. Allow us to clarify how the law applies to you and what you need to do when considering divorce.
Have a copy of everything.
Your emotions may be running high and your stress level may be through the roof, but remember to get your paperwork in order. And do this before you begin the divorce process when it is easy to access records, statements, and other documents when you are considering divorce. After filing for divorce, it may be harder to obtain these records.
Make copies of everything, even if you think it is inconsequential or probably doesn’t matter. Know what accounts, assets, and valuables you and your spouse have. Make copies of statements and tax returns. Take photos of your valuable possessions, like artwork, furniture, jewelry, and electronics. Know the passwords to online accounts and where to find those accounts. Know what debts may exist and what autopay items appear in each account.
Knowing these things and being able to document them can not only assist in the inventory process and valuation of property, but it can help to uncover hidden assets. Hiding assets in a divorce case? Yes, it’s a thing. But, don’t do it. Click here to learn more about hiding assets in a divorce case.
You don’t have to move. At least not right now.
Don’t move out just because you have decided to divorce. Immediate action is not necessary in most cases. Choosing to divorce is merely the first step on a long road toward a new happiness. Determining when to move out is yet another time when consulting with us is extremely important when you are considering divorce.
In Michigan, the general rule is that property acquired during the marriage will be divided. However, there are many circumstances that will affect which spouse – or possibly neither – gets to keep living in the matrimonial home. Please consult with us before choosing to move out or making any deals with your spouse concerning your home. You can learn more about who gets the house in a divorce by clicking here.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The word divorce can be intimidating on its own. It often conjures up images of angry, tearful, or even violent spouses in a courtroom telling their story to a somber judge. Yes, many issues do need to be resolved in court. However, there are other options that may work for you.
Many of the procedural hurdles (and court-related expenses) can be avoided if you and your spouse are open to alternate forms of dispute resolution.
Your particular divorce can be settled by mediation, where an independent person tries to bring both sides into agreement. Arbitration also involves an independent person who listens to both sides. However, an arbitrator will make a final decision that you will be bound to. These forms of alternative dispute resolution can save a lot of time and a lot of money, but they are not for everyone. There is very limited right to appeal from an arbitrator’s decision, and that may be difficult for you if you don’t like the outcome. Be sure to ask about these when you meet with your lawyer to see if they may be helpful in your particular circumstances. Learn more about alternate forms of dispute resolution here.
Give it time before deciding.
Before fully and completely committing to a divorce, discuss your circumstances with your Findling Law lawyer. There is no need to rush into things. Take time to fully and completely come to terms with what is happening, as well as what will need to happen to bring happiness back into your life.
Considering divorce? One thing you can consider is a separation. Separation is a way for the two of you to stay married, but live apart.
Our series of articles and informative video about separation in Michigan can provide you with a lot of insight as you consider if separation might be right for you. Visit this section of our online library by clicking here.
Even if you are considering separating, we highly recommend that you consult with your Findling Law lawyer to make sure that you protect yourself, your assets, and your children during this period.
About Findling Law
I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan since 19XX. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances. That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm.
Let us help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.
About Findling Law:
I have been in practice for almost 20 years and practice exclusively in divorce and family law. My practice includes several attorneys who share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their life, without compromising principles. We have extensive experience in high socio-economic, high profile and high conflict cases which has nurtured a skill set applicable to all divorce and family law cases regardless of socio-economic status. We recognize that it is the application of the law that is most important aspect of practice. That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm.
We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .
Local: +1 (248) 399-3300 – toll free: (877-YOUR FIRM)
After hours emergency?: +1 (707) 968-7347
Or email me at: Daniel@Findlinglaw.com
By: Daniel Findling