When a couple begins the divorce process in Michigan, they do not have the option of filing a joint petition requesting a permanent separation. However, this does not mean they cannot expedite the process and better the chances of being granted a cheap divorce in Michigan by cooperating with each other before any paperwork is filed.
Ideally, before the divorce process begins, two spouses will work together to craft a written agreement detailing how they plan to handle such potentially contentious issues as:
• Paying off jointly incurred debts
• Dividing shared property
• Alimony payments
• Child support payments
• Child custody arrangements
• Visitation rights for the non-custodial parent
Such a document can be completed for the court’s approval at any time up to or including a court date. Couples do not need to hire the services of a lawyer to draft a legally binding document if they can arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement for all of these issues. In other cases, spouses who wish to prepare for a relatively painless cheap divorce in Michigan may decide to split the expense of retaining an attorney who specializes in mediating these kinds of negotiations.
When a petition for divorce is filed, a fee will be charged by the applicable district family court. For the case to officially proceed, the other spouse must be formally presented with a copy of the complaint lodged. Should they choose to waive their right to file an official response, this could be the only expense involved in obtaining a cheap divorce in Michigan. If a spouse should decide to dispute the divorce, they will be charged a separate fee for filing their official response. More motions filed by either spouse will make it more difficult for either person to hope for a cheap divorce in Michigan.
If this kind of contested divorce enters the legal system, this does not necessarily mean private legal counsel must get involved. Court-supervised informal hearings will attempt to bring both parties together throughout the pretrial process. Either spouse may choose to bring private legal representation with them to these sessions.
Should no mutually acceptable agreement be reached, both spouses will probably seek a divorce lawyer to present their case rather than risk committing a procedural error or otherwise weakening their case. This will make it very unlikely that either spouse will be granted a cheap divorce in Michigan, since these kinds of attorneys generally charge expensive by-the-hour fees. If you decide this is a necessary expense, be sure to obtain a detailed estimate from any lawyer you talk to and ensure that you can afford their services.
When the court is not presented with an agreement, a judge will rule on issues such as child support and alimony payments. The courts are given considerable freedom in both these areas to consider any factors they consider relevant. Whether or not you ultimately obtain a cheap divorce in Michigan is up to a job.