Under Michigan’s old divorce laws, one of the spouses had to be found “at fault” in order for a divorce to be granted by a court. This meant that if one of the spouses did not want the divorce, they could literally keep the other spouse from obtaining a divorce!
Fortunately, there is not a “fault” requirement under current divorce laws. This means that a divorce will be granted as long as one spouse wants the divorce – even if the other spouse does not want the divorce. So, under Michigan law, every divorce is a “No Fault” divorce.
No Fault Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
Where this becomes confusing for some people is that the term “No Fault Divorce” is sometimes mistakenly used when people are referring to an ”Uncontested Divorce”.
However, the term “Uncontested Divorce” actually only refers to a divorce where one spouse files for the divorce, and the other spouse does not fight (“contest”) the terms of the divorce – such as the proposed property division and/or child custody or parenting time arrangements (if any).
In an “uncontested divorce”, one spouse files the divorce papers (called the “Complaint”) – and the other spouse typically does not file a response (called an “Answer”). When this happens, the Judge will award the Plaintiff (filing spouse) whatever terms he or she has asked for.
Steps in a Macomb County No Fault Divorce
To obtain a divorce in Michigan, the Plaintiff files a “Complaint” at the County Circuit Court. Filing fees must be paid, a Summons will be issued, and the other spouse must be “served” properly. Typically it is best to have a lawyer prepare and files these divorce papers, to ensure everything is done properly.
The spouse who is served with the Complain (“Defendant”) must file an Answer within 21 days if served in person, and within 28 days if served by mail. If the spouse who has been served does not respond within the time period, they have “defaulted” and the divorce is now considered “uncontested”.
In this case, the Plaintiff will be awarded whatever divorce terms they asked for in the Complaint, including: property, money, child support, child custody, parenting time arrangements, and/or spousal support (alimony).
If the defendant files an Answer objecting (“contesting”) the terms the Plaintiff has asked for, evidence may need to be collected and hearings may need to be scheduled and attended.
If the parties can eventually agree on everything – including the property settlement, spousal support (alimony), child custody, support, and parenting time – the lawyers will draw up papers that the Judge will approve, and a Judgment of Divorce will be entered.
If the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, the spouses’ lawyers will try to negotiate a settlement that is agreeable to both parties. If the lawyers cannot reach an agreement, then the parties will have to go before the Judge in a trial, and the Judge will make the final decisions.
Macomb County Divorce Lawyers
Even though divorces are “no fault” in Macomb County, there are still many complicated steps involved in obtaining a divorce. The best way to ensure that you will obtain the property division, spousal support, child support, custody and visitation arrangement that you deserve, is to hire a highly experienced and skilled divorce lawyer to fight for your rights.
Experienced Macomb County divorce lawyers Justin & Dale Vande Vrede have successfully represented hundreds of individuals in their divorces. We will offer you compassionate advice and aggressive representation at affordable rates, to ensure that your rights are always protected.
There are many complicated steps involved in obtaining a divorce. The best way to ensure that you will obtain the property division, spousal support, child support, custody and visitation arrangement that you deserve, is to hire a highly experienced and skilled divorce lawyer to fight for your rights.
Our Experienced Macomb County Divorce Lawyers Can Help
Experienced family law attorney Justin Vande Vrede has successfully represented hundreds of individuals in their Michigan No Fault divorces. He will offer you compassionate advice and aggressive representation at affordable rates, to ensure that your rights are always protected in your divorce matter. Call Justin Vande Vrede today for a free, confidential consultation.