Brownstown Divorce Lawyer | Trenton Divorce Attorney
The first goal in preparing for a divorce should be locating a good attorney. Many lawyers who handle divorce actions are general practitioners who also handle criminal cases, real estate closings, estate planning and personal injury matters.
At the end of the day, you have a better chance of maximizing your results by hiring an attorney who specializes in family law i.e. divorce litigation.
Many a person has come to my office with a recently entered Judgment of Divorce wanting to change the property settlement provisions, spousal support provisions or the allocation of debt. In most cases there is little that I can do for them. Although the provisions of a Judgment of Divorce in Michigan are modifiable if they pertain to minor children, property settlement provisions, allocation of debt, and waivers of alimony are binding on the parties. In the end, shopping for a attorney is not like shopping for eye glasses or a new car. In divorce litigation, trying to save money on lawyer fees is often a recipe for disaster. A low cost provider often does not have the experience, reputation or skill to resolve your divorce in a satisfactory fashion.
FILING FOR A DIVORCE
In Michigan a divorce is initiated by the filing of a complaint for a divorce in the circuit court for your county. The actual format and content of the complaint for a divorce often differs from law office to law office. However, each complaint will state the date and place of the marriage, the names and ages of the children born to the marriage if minors, the residency of the Plaintiff and an allegation that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and that there is no reasonable chance for a reconciliation.
The last section of the complaint for a divorce called the “prayer for relief” details what the Plaintiff is actually asking for. The prayer for relief tells us whether or not the person filing the divorce (the Plaintiff) is asking for spousal support (alimony), legal or physical custody of the minor children, child support and many related items.
The attorney filing the complaint for a divorce may very well ask the court to enter (sign) a mutual property injunction which would restrain both parties from disposing of marital assets and closing bank accounts while the divorce is pending. The lawyer might also ask the court to sign (enter) a “status quo order” which requires the parties to continue paying for household and family obligations in the same manner they were doing prior to the filing of the divorce action.
When the complaint is filed the clerk issues a summons to the filing attorney. The complaint and summons and any of the above orders that were issued are then served on your spouse, either personally by a process server or by certified mail.
If the summons and complaint are personally served on your spouse, he or she has twenty-one days to have an attorney file an answer to the complaint. If it is served by certified mail they have twenty-eight days to file an answer.