Can I Settle my Michigan Divorce Out of Court?

If TV shows and movies were any indicator of real life, practically every divorce ever filed would be a long, drawn out affair, full of conflict and drama, and requiring a Judge to rule on practically every part of the process. Thank goodness that’s not the case here in Mid-Michigan! In fact, most people here in the Great Lakes state choose to settle out of court.

A close up of two people shaking hands.

Certainly, there are a fair number of divorces that wind up exactly like that, and have to be handled in court, but it’s certainly not the majority. In fact, this may come as a surprise to you, but most divorces these days are settled out of court. That’s definitely been our experience in helping clients in Lansing, Jackson, Charlotte and Clinton County. And for sure, we have a lot of experience handling family law cases. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients with their family law cases since the last century. 

Is it better to settle a divorce out of court?

Often times, yes. Settling out of court means the process moves along faster, involves less stress and conflict, and costs less money. You also tend to have more control over the outcomes of decisions. A couple only ends up in court to address issues like division of assets and child custody if they can’t come to an agreement between themselves. The a small minority of divorce cases. The Kronzek Firm settles more than 90% of our divorce cases without ever going to trial. 

That means, by the time spouses are in front of a judge, each asking for the court to rule in their favor, every other avenue has been exhausted. They can’t work together, and even their attorney’s best efforts to find a resolution have been thwarted. Imagine how long that takes! Here in mid-Michigan, we’ve seen some high conflict divorces drag on for years! (And you wouldn’t believe the lawyer’s fees for those divorces!)

What if my spouse and I can’t reach an agreement?

Feeling like you don’t have any common ground on important issues related to your divorce can be really frustrating. In situations where there is a huge amount of animosity and anger between a divorcing couple, or one of them is a narcissist, this can translate into high conflict divorces that drag on for ages. We’ve handled a few challenging divorces in the Clinton, Eaton, Jackson and Gratiot County areas that took a surprisingly long time to work out. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, people just aren’t willing to put their bitterness aside and work together.

But in most situations, if a couple is willing to be flexible, and put their children’s best interests ahead of their own grievances, they can reach compromises on most of the important issues. Things like family finances, parenting time agreements, and alimony can create real sticking points for divorcing couples. But if you’ve got an experienced divorce attorney with excellent negotiating skills on your team, and you’re both willing to be reasonable in your demands of each other, you should be able to settle out of court.

How do I avoid court and settle my divorce without a judge?

As we’ve pointed out, it’s not all on you, and some people have spouses whose rage or mental health issues make the entire process a challenge. But there are things you can do to make a long, expensive, high conflict divorce less likely. For example, hiring a really good attorney to represent you, being willing to compromise on certain things, and choosing to let your children’s best interests guide your decisions. All of these choices will help.

Here at The Kronzek Firm, our skilled family law attorneys have spent many decades helping the people of St. Johns, Jackson, Ovid, Dewitt, Charlotte, Lansing and Okemos settle their divorces. Most of what we do happens outside of the courtroom, but we are just as effective in front of a Judge, and have handled numerous high conflict divorces in the Ingham, Clinton, and Eaton Family Courts. If you’re considering divorce and want help from an experienced negotiator, call (517) 886-1000 to set up your free phone or Zoom consultation.