Many spouses decide they’d rather divorce than remain in an unhappy marriage, This, no doubt, prompts numerous other decisions, especially if the spouse in question is a parent. Divorce isn’t easy although it certainly does not have to ruin lives. It pays to research Michigan laws pertaining to such issues before heading to court.

Every state has its own guidelines regarding child custody, property division, alimony and other important divorce-related topics. If a spouse heads to court without knowing what to expect, he or she may be caught off guard during proceedings. For instance, thinking the judge will divide all marital property in a 50/50 split might lead to confusion or upset upon learning that Michigan is an equitable division property state, which means the judge will determine a fair, though not necessarily equal property division.

Michigan divorce laws require that one of the spouses involved must have been living in this state for 180 days prior to filing a petition. In addition, one of them must also have resided in the same county where the petition is filed for at least 10 days, although there are exceptions to the rule. The state also allows “no fault” divorce, which often helps expedite proceedings since the spouse filing the petition does not have to prove that his or her former partner is at fault in any way.

Issues pertaining to child custody, child support or other financial matters can be complex and difficult to resolve. This is why most Michigan spouses rely on experienced family law attorneys to represent their interests and protect their rights in court. An attorney can explain applicable state laws and can also remain on hand to litigate any legal issue that might arise after the court finalizes a divorce, particularly where child custody is concerned.