In the first portion of this two part series we looked at the difference between fault and no-fault divorces, and what Michigan’s current laws are regarding divorce. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, but within those parameters there are several different ways that a divorce can be handled.
In this type of divorce the spouses are unable to agree on settlement issues like child custody and division of marital assets. In these situations, the couple will usually end up in court, which means that the process takes longer and costs more. Also, the presiding judge controls the outcome and makes all of the decisions regarding settlement issues.
When both parties can come to an equitable agreement and present the court with a fair division of assets, and alimony agreement, the divorce is considered to be “uncontested”. These types of divorces, where the couple is willing to cooperate and negotiate without litigation, tend to be both cheaper and faster.
Both collaborative divorce and mediated divorce are considered to be forms of uncontested divorce. Current statistics show that approximately 95% of divorces in the U.S. are uncontested.
This is a process by which divorcing couples reach an agreement on their divorce issues. In a collaborative divorce, the spouses each hire an attorney who is trained in the collaborative divorce process, and negotiate to reach a resolution, often with the assistance of a neutral financial specialist and/or divorce coach.
A collaborative divorce agreement requires that the couple make their own choices and decisions based on their own interests and the needs of their children, if any. Also, both parties agree to full disclosure and, per the agreement, the divorce proceedings may not be taken to court. Once the process begins, the attorneys representing each person are subject to disqualification should the collaborative law process end prematurely, or end up in court.
A mediated divorce occurs when the divorcing couple hires an Attorney Mediator, in addition to their own attorneys, to act as a neutral mediator in attempt to assist in resolving contested issues. Mediation can occur in any divorce where there are unresolved issues, although it is more commonly the contested divorces that require mediation. The job of the mediator is to facilitate the discussion by providing assistance with communication and problem solving, providing information, and making suggestions aimed at helping to resolve disputes.
By the end of the mediation process, the divorcing couple should have developed a divorce agreement that is tailored to their individual needs, which can be submitted to the court.
We hope this quick break down has been helpful and informative to you. However, if you have any questions about the divorce process, or are considering divorce yourself, please don’t hesitate to contact our skilled divorce attorneys here at Kronzek & Cronkright. We have decades of experience handling divorces of all kinds for our clients, and have a long track record of getting very favorable reviews.