How to contest a divorce in Michigan
Divorce can be hard to accept, even more so if the parting is unfriendly or confrontational. Each state differs when it comes to the ways in which you can contest a divorce petition of which you do not agree. And while Michigan is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, you have options when wanting to challenge a divorce.
What is a No-Fault Divorce?
A “no-fault” divorce is a type of divorce in which the spouse that files does not have to prove any fault on the part of the other spouse. The only requirement of the filing spouse is to give any reason that the state honors. Whether a divorce is considered “no-fault” depends on the state.
Contesting Divorce in the State of Michigan
If your spouse files for divorce in the state of Michigan, you cannot contest the divorce as it is a no-fault state. However, there are a number of considerations that may be a part of your particular divorce that can be contested including issues of spousal support (alimony), property division, and child support and/or custody.
In Michigan, if you want to contest any of the terms of your divorce, you are required to act within 21 days of being served a divorce petition.
What Terms Can You Contest?
In any state, there are a number of issues that require a determination from a court before a divorce is granted. When seeking to contest a divorce in Michigan, it is common to challenge the following terms:
- Asset Division – Like most states, Michigan follows equitable division laws. This means any property will be divided equitably between spouses in the case of divorce. This requires an amicable agreement between spouses, which is not always the case.
- Child Custody and Support – Divorcing spouses can always decide on the custody and support of their children outside of a judge’s ruling. Unfortunately, splitting time with children often becomes heated and is dependent on a number of factors including possession of other property and income. Because of this, it often requires mediation and intervention.
- Alimony – Finances are often the most contentious aspect of any divorce, especially when it comes to awarding one spouse’s finances to a financially dependent spouse. The terms of alimony almost always require the courts.
How to Contest your Divorce
Once your spouse files for divorce, you will receive a complaint which informs you that your spouse is filing and their requests. You will also receive a summons, officially notifying you of civil action and giving you the 21 day time frame in which you must respond.
You will need to prepare an answer to the petition, which you may draft yourself or source online. Generally, it’ll need to be a 12-point font and include the parties’ names, court name, your address and case number. Your answer must include which terms with which you agree and disagree.
Once answered, there will be a waiting period before the courts address your case. For those without children it will be 60 days, for those with children it will be 6 months.
Divorce is never easy. If it’s time to consult with an experienced attorney, contact the professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190.
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