Divorce & Family Law FAQ

Every couple, every family and every case has its own unique complexities. You need answers you can trust as you seek to protect you rights during such a critical time in your life.

At Schwartz Law Firm in Farmington Hills, we focus our family law practice on providing men and women in Michigan with the answers they need and the attentive representation they deserve. We hope you find this FAQ helpful and encourage you to contact us to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your specific case.

Do I have to have a specific reason for my divorce?

You have the right to pursue a divorce for any reason you chose. The days of needing grounds for divorce such as adultery are gone. Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means divorce is granted as a result of irreconcilable differences. However, fault can still be considered when dividing the marital estate or determining eligibility for spousal support or alimony.

How much will my divorce cost?

The cost of a divorce is influenced by many factors. In general, the more willing to work together spouses are, the less a divorce will cost. Going to court can be very costly, but there are strategies to avoid it and resolve issues amicably, including mediation.

How long does a divorce take?

Much like determining the cost of a divorce, there are many variables when determining the timeline of a divorce. Every divorce will take at least 60 days from the time of filing in cases without children. In cases with children, there is a six month statutory waiting period, although some judges are willing to waive the balance of the waiting period once all issues are resolved. However, this only occurs if the judge finds it would be a "hardship" for the couple to wait the full period.

Is property divided 50/50?

Property is divided equitably, but equitably may not necessarily be 50/50. It is important to have a lawyer with experience handling the division of marital assets to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

How is child custody determined?

All custody decisions are based on the best interests of the minor child.  Custody can be determined through joint agreement, mediation, litigation or court order depending on the circumstances.

Can I have full custody?

It is extremely rare for a parent to have full legal and full physical custody of their child. For full custody to be granted, one parent must be out of the picture due to death, incarceration or posing a threat to the child.

Most parents share legal custody and enter into a physical custody arrangement that reflects the best interest of the child. It is important for parents to remember that nurturing their relationship with their child is far more important than fighting and bickering over the primary residence.

How much will child support be?

Child support is determined by a statutory formula that primarily considers the incomes of parents. Exceptions can be made from the formula. It is critical to make sure you are well represented so the numbers being considered accurately reflect the reality of your financial situation.

Is all marital property subject to division?

All marital property is divisible in divorce. All property acquired during a marriage is subject to division absent a valid premarital agreement. A party may have separate property, however, that is not subject to division. This may include acquired prior to marriage (and not co-mingled with marital property), or property that is inherited by or gifted to a spouse during the marriage. It is important to discuss these issues with your lawyer.