Litigation in Divorce: Do I Have to go to Court to Get Divorced?

We get asked this question a lot in our Lansing office – “Do I have to go to court to get divorced?” And it’s hard to blame people for their concern. After all, court is a very public place, and most people have only seen courtroom divorces in movies. Which is scary. Divore litigation seems to always involve lawyers dragging each other’s clients through the mud in very humiliating ways. All the dirty laundry gets hung out for everyone in Lansing, Clinton County and in Eaton County to see. 

A couple standing back to back, with ah= huge judge;s gavel about to come down and crush them.

So it’s understandable that people would want to avoid a courtroom divorce. Whether you live in Lansing, Ingham County, or Jackson County, the thought of being publicly shamed is very scary. So you’ll be glad to know that no, it’s not a requirement for a divorce in mid-Michigan with the exception of a final, very quick hearing with the judge. 

So how do you get divorced in mid-Michigan without litigation in court?

Going to court, where a judge decides who gets what assets, and how many hours of time you get with your kids, only happens if you and your spouse can’t figure these things out together beforehand. Part of the divorce process involves trying to work out all the details between you and your spouse, with the help of your respective attorneys. We’ve worked with countless people from Ovid, East Lansing, and Grand Ledge over the years, to successfully negotiate fair and reasonable divorce terms. With nearly 27 years of family law experience, we’re proud that more than 96% of our divorce cases get resolved without a trial. 

The role of your Lansing family law attorney is negotiating with your spouse’s attorney on your behalf, to work toward a good settlement. This means making sure your rights are protected, your needs are accounted for, and your desires are at least given a good chance. You aren’t likely to get everything you want, but a good divorce attorney will work hard to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of, or left out in the cold. Doing that is part skill, part experience, and part artful finess.  

What happens if my spouse and I can’t come to an agreement?

Couples who simply aren’t able to come to terms, no matter how hard they try, and despite their lawyer’s best efforts, have no choice but to go to court. There are other options you can try first (and we would encourage you to try them before resorting to litigation), like using a mediator. But that isn’t always possible.

Some couples have so many years of built up resentments and bitterness, they aren’t able to see past that to work together. In some cases, one of the spouses is a narcissist and isn’t capable of being reasonable, no matter how hard everyone else involved tries. And sometimes, some people are just unreasonable. Whether it’s anger, pain, or deeply held convictions, they simply aren’t willing to bend on certain issues. And that’s when the court gets involved, and litigation may be unavoidable. 

What if my spouse is being unreasonable? What are my options?

At the Kronzek Firm, we’ve spent 27 years helping people from Okemos, Mason, Jackson, and Grand Ledge with their divorces. We’re very good at it, and we know what type of approach to use to get great results for each client. In fact, our reputation among other divorce attorneys, family court judges and our clients should be very encouraging for you to hear if you’re hoping to avoid court. Read our online reviews for a better picture of our success.  

Our experienced divorce attorneys can be aggressive bulldogs when they need to be. But that’s not always the best tactic. We always strive for a measured approach to attaining the best result for our clients, which saves them money in the long run. So if you’re considering divorce, and you want help from some of mid-Michigan’s best family law attorneys, call 517 886 1000 today. We offer free phone or Zoom consultations, and there is always someone standing by to take your call. We are also available for emergency intervention and strategic planning.