Steps to Obtaining a Divorce in Michigan

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Divorce Lawyer

1. Retain a Michigan divorce attorney who will assist you and with whom you feel comfortable.

2. Your attorney will confer with you to answer your questions and to obtain the necessary information. To facilitate the filing of a divorce, you may request that we send you a divorce questionnaire.  Send your email request to rpater@paterlaw.net and request a divorce questionnaire for a filing either with or without minor children.

3. Your attorney will prepare the following documents:
a. Case File Information Form
b. Summons
c. Complaint for Divorce
d. Record of Divorce or Annulment

AND IF THERE ARE MINOR CHILDREN:

e. Verified Statement
f. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act Affidavit.

4. The documents get filed with the Court along with the $150.00 filing fee.

5. Copies of the Summons get returned to your attorney.

6. Defendant is served with a copy of the documents.

7. If there are minor children the Friend of the Court will schedule a Coordination Conference with both parties to attempt to settle custody, support, and parenting time issues on an interim basis.

8. If there are minor children there is a six-month waiting period. If no minor children, there is a 60-day waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. This is the shortest period in which a divorce can be granted.

9. Settlement discussions will usually occur during the waiting period.

10. There may be a need for discovery. The purpose of discovery is to allow the parties to have access to material that will assist them in preparing and trying their cases. There may be three forms of discovery.

a. Interrogatories. Michigan allows written interrogatories (questions) to be sent to the other party. They are required to give written answers, under oath (notarized), to the written questions. Interrogatories can help discover information necessary to initiate intelligent settlement discussions or to prepare for trial. If the opposing attorney sends interrogatories for you to answer, we will normally ask you to prepare rough draft answers, which we would then prepare in a proper form.b. Depositions. In some cases, the attorneys will schedule depositions. The attorney will then ask the opposing parties questions in the presence of a court reporter. The court reporter accurately transcribes both the questions and the answers. If your deposition is scheduled, we would assist you and be present during the deposition.c. Requests For Documents. Either party may request the production of documents from the other party, and may use the subpoena power of the Court to obtain documents, compel the appearance of a witness, and to obtain documents in the hands of a third party, such as an employer or bank.

11. If settlement discussions have been successful or if the other party failed to file an answer to the Complaint within 21 days after being served, we may prepare a proposed Judgment of Divorce.

12. If there has been a default or the parties has agreed on the terms of the Divorce Judgment, then we will schedule a pro-con hearing where you will testify briefly in support of the allegations in your complaint and request that the Court enter the proposed Judgment.

13. If settlement discussions have not resulted in settlement, then we must prepare for trial.

14. If there is a trial, we must prepare a judgment that complies with the Court’s oral opinion.

If retained as your attorneys, feel free to call us with your questions at 616.396.8883. As your attorneys, we will try to keep you informed by providing you with copies of all correspondence and legal documents associated with your case whether they are received by this office or are produced by this office to be sent to the opposing party. We will try to assist you during what may be a difficult time

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