Welcome back, and thanks for joining us again as we look at answers to some of the more common questions we get from divorce clients. As we pointed out before, there are many factors that will affect your divorce, and each relationship is different. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to most questions, but we will try our best to answer the once we hear regularly. Let’s pick up where we left off…
What does a ‘no fault’ divorce mean?
Michigan is a no fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse has to be at ‘fault’ for the court to grant a divorce. It used to be that there had to be a ‘fault’ or a reason for a couple to request divorce, like infidelity, domestic violence or something else that made their marriage unhappy and unfulfilling. That is no longer the case.
However, fault can still play a role in how the court divides your assets, assigns financial help like spousal support, and determines child custody. A parent that is determined to be ‘unfit’ due to their substance abuse issues, immorality or violent tendencies is less likely to be granted custody of their children.
What if my spouse doesn’t want to get divorced?
Under Michigan law, only one party in the marriage has to claim that the marriage is ‘broken’ for the court to grant a divorce. Michigan is a no-fault state, and doesn’t require that people claim a reason for the divorce, other than that the bonds of matrimony have been destroyed. If your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, their efforts may frustrate and slow the process, but they cannot stop it from happening.
How do I serve my spouse the divorce papers?
If you plan to file for divorce, the divorce complaint has to be served to your spouse. Michigan law requires that they be formally notified that you’ve filed for divorce. However, you are not allowed to be the one to give them the formal paperwork. So who can hand over the divorce documents to your spouse?
The law clearly states that it can be served by any adult NOT directly involved in the action, so you have many options:
- A family member
- A mutual friend
- Someone you know who is a stranger to your spouse
- A hired professional process server
Can I change my name when I get divorced?
Yes. It only takes a court order for a woman to change her name back to her maiden name (or to any other name she chooses) at the time of divorce. Once the judgement has been entered, the name change is official with the court, and you can start registering the change with the appropriate agencies (like the secretary of state, social security, etc…) .
Will an attorney make my divorce process easier?
Yes! There are many aspects of a divorce that are best handled by an attorney. In order to ensure that your best interests are properly represented, we recommend that you have an experienced family law attorney represent you during your divorce process. So if you or a loved one are considering a divorce in Michigan call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you every step of the way. And join us next time for the wrap up on this list of Michigan divorce questions!