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Steps in getting a divorce

Michigan residents who are seeking to end their marriages might wonder where to begin the process. Divorces differ based on individual situations, but there are a few elements that are common.

The first steps are the petition and summons. One person files for divorce, and papers are served to the person's spouse. It is best to not delay on legal issues whether they are related to finances or child custody. Not taking care of these issues sooner rather than later may count against a person in court. Consulting an attorney early on may help prioritize.

The other person must file a response. An attorney may be able to guide a person through the next steps including explaining what documents may be needed. Friends, articles and reviews online may help lead a person to the right attorney.

The next step is negotiating. A couple must share information about finances and must eventually reach a divorce agreement. This might be done through spouses negotiating with one another or through their attorneys, through mediation or in litigation where a judge decides. The timing of when the elements of this agreement go into effect will differ from one divorce to the next.

A person who is facing the end of a marriage might want to consult Oakland County, Michigan divorce attorneys about these steps. There may be a number of other factors that need to be considered based on things such as the belief that one spouse might be hiding assets, concerns about domestic abuse or the need for complex financial transactions such as splitting retirement accounts. Whether a person is able to negotiate with a spouse or must go to court, an attorney may be able to assist in preparing a strategy based on the client's goals.

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