The Difference Children Make In A Divorce

The process and timeline of Michigan divorce are affected by whether or not there are children from the marriage. There are typically waiting periods, and it generally takes 120 days to get a court date. If you do have children, your divorce will take at least six months.

Divorce When There Are No Children

In Michigan, if you and your spouse have no children, you can be divorced in as few as 60 days. If you and your spouse agree on the major issues such as division of property and debts, pet ownership, and whether there will be alimony and how much that will be, you may consider an uncontested divorce. Both of you are advised to get attorneys. In a divorce, an attorney can only represent one person or “party,” not both. If you cannot agree on the major issues, you may have to take your case to trial. It takes 120 days to get a court date.

Divorcing With Minor Children

If you and your spouse have kids, you will need to undergo a six-month mandatory waiting period. This time starts from the date of filing for divorce. In some cases, you may be able to submit a hardship waiver to expedite this process.

Before you can get a hardship waiver, you will need to agree on several issues. These issues can include:

  • Custody of the children: There are two types of custody: legal and physical. These can be either joint (shared) or sole (one parent). Custody is decided based on what is best for the children, not the parents.
  • Parenting time: The parenting time agreement should make clear how parenting time is divided. It should include holidays, school breaks and summer vacation, and denote expectations and agreements as to which parent will transport the child or children to and from school, extracurricular events, sports events, music classes, theater classes and other activities. While the law and courts generally agree that both parents should have a role in the child’s life, in some cases, it is not in the best interest of the child to have any time with a parent.
  • Child support: The agreement should note who will be responsible for paying the medical, educational, clothing, food, travel and entertainment costs of the child or children.
  • Alimony: Many factors can affect alimony, including the age of the spouses, their income, their health, their ability to work, their education and career trajectory, their contributions to the estate and marriage, and even their behavior during the marriage. If one parent worked and the other stayed at home to raise the children, this will also be considered while calculating alimony.
  • Which parent will claim the child tax credit on their income taxes and for how long.
  • Who will live in the jointly owned home and for how long. If the home is to be sold, the date it will be sold should be in writing, for example, within three months after the youngest child graduates from high school.

Every family, marriage and divorce has its own dynamic. At Gormley and Johnson Law Offices, PLC, we offer clear communication and calm, levelheaded guidance through the divorce process.

Get The Divorce Guidance You Need

We understand that divorce is a significant change for you and your children. We can help ensure that your divorce goes as smoothly and quickly as possible so that you can move forward. Call 517-219-9301 to speak with a family law professional about your case. You can also send us an email about what you need.