Divorce Lawyers &
in Grand Rapids
The decision to file for divorce is never an easy one and there are many misconceptions regarding this area of law. The filing of a divorce complaint is actually a law suit filed in Circuit Court that sets in motion a legal proceeding to dissolve the marital union and to divide assets and debts between the parties involved as fairly as possible. Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that, neither party needs to prove the other party is at fault in order to obtain a divorce from the Court. Our Grand Rapids divorce lawyer at Gordon & Hess, PLC can help with this process.
Either party can file for divorce at anytime for any reason. Once a Summons and Complaint for Divorce is filed the Court will proceed to dissolve the marriage as equitably as possible within the statutory time limits provided by law. Although Michigan is a “no fault” state this does not mean that the issue of “fault” is irrelevant.
In fact, depending on the circumstances of your case “fault” may be extremely relevant and something to be presented to the Court if a party is seeking more than a 50/50 property division and has proof of what actually caused the “break down” of the marriage. However, it should be noted that the issue of “fault” is not easily proven in a Court of law and the decision to pursue “fault” or not should be discussed in detail with an experienced and seasoned Grand Rapids divorce attorney at Gordon & Hess, PLC.
A divorce in Grand Rapids may not be finalized sooner than 60 days from the date when the complaint for divorce is filed. When there are minor children, the minimum waiting period is 180 days. Many divorces take longer than the minimum time period to complete. In an amicable situation you can agree to, and implement the settlement terms prior to the waiting period being complete, but your final decree will not be issued prior.
In the context of a divorce either party may request court orders related to the following:
- Parenting Time/Visitation
- Child Support
- Division of Assets and Debts
- Spousal Support
- Attorney Fees and Court Costs
Some of these Orders may be requested on a temporary basis while the divorce is pending and before a final Judgment is either agreed upon by the parties during settlement negotiations or ordered by the court at trial. Depending on the circumstances of the case it may be important to request temporary orders right away and this should be discussed with your attorney as soon as the case is filed.
There are many facets to a divorce case and it can be an emotional time for the parties involved. It is very important that you retain an experienced divorce attorney in Grand Rapids who understands the issues, the law, and who can aggressively and effectively advocate on your behalf to protect your rights and the rights of your family.
Gordon & Hess, PLC are divorce attorneys in Grand Rapids, Michigan who will fight hard for you to get the best possible outcome for you, your children and family in Court.
How to File
How you file for divorce in Michigan will depend on whether there are minor children or not as well as many other factors, including the financial situation of the parties, whether both are currently employed or not and the marital assets and debts that were accrued during the course of the marriage.
First of all, in order to file for divorce in Michigan, you must meet the state’s residency requirements. This means that you must have resided in the State of Michigan for at least 6 months prior to filing a Complaint for Divorce.
If there are no minor children, then the biggest decision you will have to make usually involves the division of all marital property and debts, including both real and personal, and whether each party can support themselves independently from the other party or whether there is a need for spousal support or alimony.
If the parties involved can agree on a fair division of marital assets and debts as well as any issues of financial assistance or support then this can be reduced into a binding settlement agreement and ultimately the parties can sign a Consent Judgment of Divorce that is accepted and entered by the Court.
However, if the parties are unable reach an agreement on the division of marital property, debts and spousal support then the Court will be forced to make a decision and to issue a Court Order at a formal evidentiary hearing or a divorce trial. One of our experienced divorce lawyers at Gordon & Hell, PLC can help you through this process.
A divorce attorney from Gordon & Hess, PLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan who is experienced in various divorce proceedings will be able to help either negotiate a fair division of assets and debts outside of court, either with the assistance of a mediator or not, or will be prepared to present your case and fight for your rights at a trial.
If you must go to court to divide assets, debts and/or deal with issues of support for your spouse it can be helpful to know some factors that the judge may consider in making a decisions. These factors include:
- Length of the marriage
- Age of the parties
- Health of the parties
- Income of the parties or ability to work
- Quality of life and standard of living during the marriage
- Any pre-marital assets or debts prior to the marriage
- Any inheritances during the course of marriage
- Any issues of “fault” that may have led to the divorce
A divorce lawyer with Gordon & Hess, PLC in Grand Rapids Michigan can carefully review these factors with you as well as many others that may apply and will pinpoint your best arguments in court and explain all your options.
The Grand Rapids divorce attorneys of Gordon & Hess, PLC will be able to assist you whether it is through negotiating a fair and reasonable resolution or through preparing your case for trial and advocating for you successfully.
At Gordon & Hess, PLC our attorneys are caring and compassionate without compromising their duty to aggressively protect your rights. We will explain all of your legal options at every step and are dedicated to providing you only the highest quality of legal representation. Our knowledgeable attorneys can develop the best course of action based on your goals. Our skilled attorneys will listen to the specific issues of your case and provide an honest evaluation of your legal options.
If you need a divorce lawyer or a family law attorney in Grand Rapids or anywhere in West Michigan contact Gordon & Hess, PLC for assistance. The attorneys at Gordon & Hess, PLC are aggressive and experienced in all of these areas and have handled complex divorce and family law cases in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Holland, Muskegon, Newaygo, Kalamazoo, Allegan, Hastings as well as other cities throughout West Michigan. Let our Grand Rapids attorney team help you.
Please contact a divorce lawyer at Gordon & Hess, PLC now and schedule a free ½ hour confidential consultation to meet face to face and discuss the family law issue you are or soon may be facing and to discuss the best course of action. Start developing a winning game plan from the start.