Child custody isn’t always divisive, but when it is a child custody lawyer can help a couple work things out for the good of their child or children.

Grand Rapids, MI- Is your marriage on the rocks? Are you thinking about filing for divorce? Unless this is your second and marriage—and possibly your second divorce, you probably have no idea what the requirements for filing for divorce are or what the process entails. Knowing what to expect out of your divorce can eliminate some of the worries you have. So, here our team of divorce lawyers in Grand Rapids will discuss some of the basics of filing for divorce in Michigan.

Michigan is like the majority of their states in that you must meet a minimum residency requirement before you can file for divorce. Both spouses must live in the state for a minimum of six months before filing their initial divorce petition. Also, a couple must reside in the county where they are filing for at least ten days before starting the divorce process.

Michigan is no-fault divorce state which means couples in Grand Rapids do not have to prove wrong or negligent behavior on either spouse’s behalf to get a divorce. A couple just has to show that their marriage is “irretrievably broken” and there is no hope for a reconciliation.

A Grand Rapids divorce attorney can assist you with all aspects of your divorce

After filing your initial petition for dissolution, you must wait six months before a judge can approve your divorce unless extenuating circumstances led a judge to sign off sooner. If you and your spouse are having troubling agreeing to settlement terms, your divorce can take longer than six months.

USAttorneys recommends you speak with a local divorce attorney to look at the facts of your case and do whatever they can make your divorce go as quickly as possible.

As for asset and property division, Michigan is an equitable division state. That means assets, debts, and property must be divided between each spouse equitably, but equitably doesn’t necessarily mean property should be divided 50/50. Several factors like length of marriage, the value of the property being divided, a couple’s mutual assets being, and each of their incomes are taken into consideration when a court is must divide marital property. Assets one spouse owned before getting married remain theirs when the couple divorces unless they specified otherwise.

If necessary, one spouse can seek child support or spousal support, but they must be prepared to produce extensive financial documents and demonstrate they have a genuine financial need. A spouse who is unable to work because they stayed home to take care of family and home can ask for long-term spousal support.

You must live in Michigan for six months before you can file for divorce.

You must live in Michigan for six months before you can file for divorce.

When it comes to child custody, a court gives couples latitude to resolve this issue together. If they cannot and look to family court to decide, their decision will be based on what is in the best interest of a child or children. Joint custody is the preferred arrangement, but it one that doesn’t work in all situations, so you and your estranged spouse should do everything you can to resolve your child custody issues out of court.

Those are just a few of the basics about filing for divorce in Michigan; there is a lot more you need to know. We recommend you set up a consultation with a divorce and child custody lawyer in Grand Rapids as soon as you realize you want a divorce. USAttorneys can get you in touch with a local lawyer today.