There are about a million movies and TV shows out there with characters who get divorced, or are already divorced. Sometimes divorce is the main theme, and sometimes it’s just a peripheral fact that plays into the storyline. But either way, the trials and tribulations that Hollywood characters have had to face when it comes to ending their marriages and dealing with issues like custody, child support and alimony, have informed your idea of what a divorce involves. Which mean you probably have the wrong idea about how this is all going to go down.
“Sweet Home Alabama” implies you both HAVE to sign divorce papers.
Ever watched that cute rom-com Sweet Home Alabama, where Reese Witherspoon’s character “Melanie” comes back to Alabama in the hopes of forcing her estranged husband “Jake” to sign their divorce papers. She’s been hounding him for seven years now, but until he signs them, she won’t be able to finalize the divorce and move on. A fact that has several Michigan couples confused about the importance of getting your spouse to sign divorce papers.
But the facts are very different in Michigan!
Here in Michigan, one spouse refusing to sign divorce papers won’t stop a divorce from happening. You may want to end your marriage, and your spouse may not want to, but they can’t stop the process from happening. If one person files for divorce in Michigan, while the other spouse can delay the process and complicate it unnecessarily, they can’t deny you the right to end your marriage if that’s what you want.
“Intolerable Cruelty” makes prenups look completely foolproof.
In the rom-com Intolerable Cruelty, George Clooney plays “Miles Massey”, a top divorce attorney and the inventor of the “Massey pre-nup”, which is a completely foolproof prenuptial agreement that can protect your assets during a divorce to the point where you can keep every penny of your wealth and your partner walks away penniless. But here in Michigan that simply isn’t possible in most cases.
Michigan asset division law favors a fair and equitable split
While you can (and should) have a prenup to protect your assets – especially if they were assets you owned before your marriage, there is no such thing as a completely “unbreakable” prenuptial agreement. Prenups get torn apart in court for all sorts of reasons these days, usually because they are many years old and the law has changed, or they were incorrectly drawn up to begin with. Either way, never assume that just because you have a prenup you can leave your spouse destitute and walk away with a fortune, even if they agreed to those terms when they married you!
No two divorces are the same, even if the laws are!
Comparing your divorce, or basing your divorce expectations on a movie, where liberties are taken in the same of a storyline, and the laws of other states come into play, doesn’t make any sense. But as experienced family lawyer Brandy Thompson points out, “The same can be said for basing your divorce on your neighbor’s experience, even if they live in the same state and are subject to the same rules. No two divorces are going to play out the same way. So make sure you discuss your divorce expectations with your attorney – they’ll help prepare you for whatever lies ahead.”
Your best bet is to talk it over with your Michigan divorce attorney
Many Michigan people have wrong ideas about divorce because of things they’ve seen on the big screen, so you certainly won’t be the first one. BUt if you have questions, or assumptions you’re not sure about, talk it over with your experienced divorce attorney. We can set the record straight for you, and help you prepare for every aspect of the process, from the initial filing right through to the punch list at the end. Call 866 766 5245 today, and get the right info from people who know what they’re doing.