When a couple makes the decision to get a divorce – or at least when one-half of a couple makes that decision – someone must file for divorce first. The paperwork they file is known as the divorce complaint. The other spouse’s response to the complaint is called the answer.
A Michigan divorce begins with the filing of a complaint for divorce. The complaint, in its essence, is the document that states what one half of a divorcing couple is asking of the court. This document must include a great deal of information, including:
The person who files for divorce is known as the plaintiff. The person who is served divorce papers is named the defendant. These titles are not an indication of guilt or innocence. “Plaintiff” is merely a title that refers to the person who filed for divorce first and officially opened the divorce case.
The rule of law as it pertains to Michigan divorce is clear, and there is no time to waste. Once the defendant is served, he or she has 21 days to file an answer to the complaint if they were physically handed the papers, or 28 days if served by certified mail.
If the answer to a divorce complaint is not filed by the deadline, the court can enter a default against the defendant. This means you are not allowed to participate in the case unless you file a motion to have the default set aside, and the motion is granted.
Don’t assume that dragging your feet about your divorce will ever work in your favor. If you default, the judge assigned to your case can make decisions about every matter relating to your split – including custody, assets, support, and more – all without your input or participation.
You can also talk to your attorney about the benefits of filing a counterclaim, which is a legal document in which you ask the court to give you a divorce – on your terms. This counterclaim must be filed and served at the same time the answer is filed and served.
Hiring an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer to handle the legalities of filing for divorce ensures that all the necessary information is accounted for in your complaint. Attempting a do-it-yourself divorce almost guarantees that mistakes will be made, details will be missed, and paperwork will have to be refiled, making your divorce take longer to complete.
The wise defendant also retains the services of their own Michigan divorce lawyer once they have been served a divorce complaint so they can carefully and accurately address each allegation in the plaintiff’s complaint and file their response in the same county in which the complaint was filed.
If you are ready to file for divorce, make a counterclaim, or have any other questions about getting a divorce in Michigan, contact the divorce lawyers at Michigan Divorce Help, PLLC, serving Macomb County and the surrounding areas.
Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.
We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.
Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.
Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Michigan Divorce Help cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.
Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.
Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.
We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.
When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.
Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service.
At Michigan Divorce Help, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.
During traditional business hours, please call us at: (586) 954-9500
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The information presented within this website is for general information purposes and is NOT and should not be considered as being “legal advice”. You should not act on any information presented herein without the verifying same with your attorney.