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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce and Family Law

How will I survive while the divorce is in progress? Can I stay in the home with my spouse during the proceedings? Who will pay the debts during the divorce process?

At William W. Fischer, P.C., we can answer your questions and help you find a solution to your family law issues and disputes.

What are the grounds for divorce in Michigan?

Michigan is a "No Fault" divorce state which means that the courts have the power to terminate the relationship between the parties regardless of who did what to whom. However, fault may nevertheless be considered in the division of martial property, child custody and spousal support.

How do I start a divorce?

To start a divorce you are required to file a Complaint for Divorce in the Circuit Court in the county in which you or your spouse resides. You (or your spouse) must have lived in the county where you file for at least 10 days immediately before you file and you (or your spouse) must have resided in the state of Michigan at least 180 days immediately before you file.

Is it better to be the first to file?

It depends on the circumstances but normally it is better to be the first to file. This allows you the ability to set some guidelines regarding custody, parenting time and child support as well as addressing matter such as the payment of the marital bills.

If you are served with a Complaint for Divorce, you must file an Answer to the Complaint within 21 days. If you fail to file an Answer to the Complaint within 21 days, you may give up the right to participate in the divorce proceedings.

How long does it take to get divorced?

In Michigan, the minimum period of time to get divorced is 60 days. If there are minor children of the marriage, however, the waiting period for the divorce is six months. The six-month waiting period may be waived by the judge if it can be shown there is an undue hardship or there is a compelling necessity to waive the six-month period. In either case, the waiting period can be no shorter than 60 days.

Can I get alimony or spousal support?

Yes; however, it depends on the circumstances, and facts of each case. The courts use many factors in determining whether someone should be awarded spousal support including but not limited to; the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, the health of the parties, the ability to work, the conduct of the parties and the needs of the parties.

Will I have to pay/receive child support?

The courts utalize the Michigan Child Support Formula, under most circumstances, to determine the child support to be be awarded. The formula is based upon the respective parties, taking in to consideration the expenses such as child care and health insurance. Another consideration is the number of overnight parenting days each party exercises during a given year.

How is custody of the child(ren) determined?

It is in the best interest of the child(ren) if the parties can agree to a custody and/or parenting time arrangement. If the parties cannot agree, the court will determine what is in the best interest of the minor child(ren) using the factors delineated in the Child Custody Act.

How is the marital property divided in a divorce?

The assets accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property and will be dived equitably in the course of the divorce proceeding & reviews of divorce services. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal. The court may divide the marital property in a manner it determines is fair under the circumstances. Property either party had prior to the marriage, and which was not commingled with marital property, is usually considered separate property and generally is not subject to division in a divorce.

It is extremely important to collect all information possible about all the property owned by either party and when it was acquired. Additional information should include; the current value of the property, and debts owed on the property, as well as all account numbers for all bank accounts and retirement accounts.

How much will it cost for a divorce?

Most family law attorneys charge an hourly fee for representation and will take a retainer at the beginning of the case. Each case is different and fees may depend on the complexity of the case, and the amount of time spent by the attorney.

Contact Us at 909-576-3773 for Answers

If you have questions about divorce and family law matters, we have the answers you need. Contact our family law lawyers for a free consultation about your case. We accept all major credit cards and payment plans are available where appropriate.

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Office Locations

William W. Fischer, P.C.
2172 Wilson Street
Walled Lake, MI 48390
Phone: 760-929-8825
Toll Free: 909-576-3773
Fax: 715-224-7016

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