By Daniel H. Moss, Attorney
In this second installment of my Divorce Questions and Answers series, we’ll cover some additional questions and concerns people often have when thinking about divorce. As always, this is intended as a reference guide, not as legal advice. Always consult a professional for legal counsel on your specific situation.
Do I really need an attorney for my divorce?
There is an old saying: “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
Divorce is a complicated matter. Each case is unique. I always advise people to hire a lawyer to help them navigate through the legalities of their divorce, so they may be sure they aren’t missing an important step in the process. The legal system can be very tricky if you aren’t familiar with it. Hiring a professional to advise and guide you through the process will help ensure that you’re headed toward the most favorable outcome.
Should we get divorced? Or, can we fix it?
Many people who contact me are not sure what they should do. They are seeking answers and guidance. Whether or not you should divorce is a difficult question to answer, because every situation is different. The ultimate decision is up to you. There is no right or wrong answer. Over time, I have identified certain situations that can indicate an irreparable relationship. However, that’s not always the case.
If you’re not sure whether you should divorce or not, I strongly suggest you obtain counseling, either individually and/or as a couple, to work through your situation. Getting some guidance and tips from a competent psychologist can help you make a good decision about the future of your relationship. Such guidance will also help while you are transitioning back into or out of your marriage.
My spouse filed for divorce. Does this give him/her an unfair advantage?
If your spouse files for divorce first, it doesn’t give them the “upper hand.” It’s just the beginning.
Responsive pleadings, motions and court hearings will determine who has the upper hand.
If I file for divorce, can my spouse keep me from seeing my children?
Child custody is determined by the court, not by your spouse. Serving the best interests of the children is the court’s main goal in determining custody and parenting time. Typically, the court will seek a resolution that allows both parents to continue an ongoing relationship with the children. Primary residence and visitation will be determined by the Court, not your spouse.
How can I speed up the divorce process?
Speeding up the process is not always as easy or practical as it might sound. In Michigan, there is a statutory waiting period of 180 days if you have children; 60 days if you do not have children. For good cause, the Court may waive 120 days of the waiting period with children. Disagreements on property division, alimony and child custody will lengthen the process.
For more information, please review my article: Why does it take So Long?
If you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or email@example.com.
Contact: 248.855.5656 | firstname.lastname@example.org