Questions Frequently Asked About Divorce In Michigan
Cheltenham Law, PLLC, is a small law firm in East Lansing, Michigan, providing divorcing couples premier legal representation for complicated circumstances. Colline Cheltenham and Hanna Beck Sawyer are experienced trial lawyers whose focus is to get you through your complex divorce and protect your rights along the way. For legal advice, call Cheltenham Law, PLLC, at 517-652-0007 or send an email to make arrangements for a consultation.
Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions.
When will my divorce be final if we do not have children?
If you and your spouse do not have children and are not expecting a child via pregnancy – and are in agreement over the terms of your asset and debt division and spousal support – your divorce could be complete in about 60 days.
If we have kids, how long will it take to finalize the divorce?
If you have children – or are expecting a child – your divorce could take up to a year or longer to complete. Disagreements over a parenting time schedule for your children, marital property division or spousal support will extend the duration of the divorce process. The court will likely order you to attend mediation with your spouse. If mediation is unsuccessful, you may have to resolve matters in the courtroom before a judge.
Is my settlement from my personal injury case considered community property subject to asset division in my divorce?
Generally, no. Your personal injury settlement is meant for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost and future wages, and pain and suffering following an accident injury. But that does not preclude your spouse from attempting to include it as part of the marital property division, especially if the funds were used to pay household expenses, such as utilities, the family’s medical bills, gas or groceries for the whole family.
Do I have to divide my entire pension if I came into my marriage with part of it?
There are many factors that go into determining how pensions are subject to division in a divorce settlement. In Michigan, if you and your spouse cannot agree to the division of your assets and debts, a judge decides how to divide your property in fair manner. An argument can be made that it is not fair to include your entire pension in the marital property inventory. You may be able to carve out the amount of your pension you earned prior to your marriage.
Do I have to give up my inheritance as part of the marital property division?
If your inheritance was in your name alone during your marriage, you can assert that the assets you inherited are not part of the marital property subject to division. Your spouse may argue to the contrary if you comingled the money or property received and treated them as marital assets during your marriage. These types of assets can be complicated to parse during your divorce and engaging an experienced attorney for your divorce can protect your rights to a fair property division settlement.