Do I Have To Go To Court When I Get Divorced In Michigan? (Pt. 1)

The thought of going to court can be very intimidating for many people.


This is a question we hear quite often from clients. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want the hassle of having to take time off work to appear in court. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want their family’s “dirty laundry” hung out for everyone to see. And sometimes it’s just because they don’t want the stigma of a controversial and high-drama divorce, which is often the case when a couple squares off in front of a judge.


If this sounds like you, then there’s good news – you don’t have to go to court to get divorced in Michigan (outside of the required Pro Confesso hearing, of course!). In fact, most people don’t. Most people end their marriages behind closed doors, hidden away from the scrutinizing public eye, and without the high-conflict amphitheater feel that can sometimes happen in a courtroom. And believe it or not, there are some very good reasons why avoiding court might be best for you. Let’s take a look…


You and your spouse get to make the decisions about custody


One of the major benefits of settling and not going to court, is that you and your spouse get to work out the custody agreement that works best for your children. Which is great, because a judge won’t know all of the ins and outs of your kids needs. But you and your spouse do. So assuming both of you can put your grievances aside and focus on what’s best for the kids, you are ultimately the best possible people to decide on how your family should be restructured.


Arguably the hardest part of any divorce is dealing with the issues of custody and parenting time. It can be a real challenge to agree to let your children go, even just for a few days a week. But keep in mind the fact that children do better with both parents in their lives. Also, this is one of the issues where your attorney will advocate for you, and work to ensure a fair custody agreement. Of course, if the two of you aren’t able to come to an agreement on what is best, then you’ll have little choice but to let the court choose for you.


Leaving your children’s future to a judge may not be what’s best for them.


Judges, for all their experience and wisdom, don’t know your family. They’re not familiar with your kid’s routines and preferences, so they won’t know what works best for your child. They also have no concept of how quickly, or how slowly, your children adapt to change. They don’t know how well they settle into new environments. And how could they? After all, they’re complete strangers.


So leaving custody decisions to a judge might mean a ‘fair’ decision in the eyes of the law, but will it be the right one for your kids? This is why we often recommend that parents work hard (with the help a skilled attorney) to reach decisions about their children’s futures on their own, rather than turning the decisions over to a stranger. A judge will do their best, but in most cases it’s the parents, who love these children with all their heart, who can truly see what would be best for their future.


Having a good attorney will make all the difference.


Divorce is a highly emotional time, and people sometimes get caught up in their heartbreak and anger. They let their grievances affect their decision-making skills, which is where a good attorney comes in. As you representative, we can listen to everything you have to say, and then help you make the best choice for your future. An attorney has the benefit of being fully committed to you, but emotionally removed enough to stay objective.


At The Kronzek Firm, we’ve helped countless people through the turbulence of divorce, and on into a better future. Our experienced family law attorneys are highly skilled at navigating every aspect of divorce, including custody agreements and parenting time, asset division, and alimony. Call 866 766 5245 today, and discuss your situation with someone who can help.