Here are some of the most frequently asked questions people wonder about as they prepare to divorce. Let us know if you have any other questions we can answer!
What does a divorce cost?
One of the most frequently asked questions is how much a divorce will cost.
That depends! Divorces can run smoothly or be challenging, depending on the issues, opposing counsel and if both spouses are in agreement (or not). Pre-existing acrimony impacts the amount of time it takes to work out details and find resolution. Many factors play into how much your divorce will cost. Remember: vendettas cost a lot of money.
How long does a divorce take?
The state of Michigan requires statutory waiting periods for a divorce to complete – a minimum of 6 months when children are involved; without children, a minimum of 60 days. The unique facts and circumstances of your situation can extend the time needed to achieve resolution.
People are usually anxious to get the divorce over with, which is why this is a frequently asked question. Just know that it will take time, and it will be over before you know it.
Can my child decide where to live?
Your child may express a preference for living with one parent over the other. Many people believe that when a child reaches a certain age, he or she can decide where to live.
Not true. While a child’s desires may be taken into account, it is only one of 11 “best interest factors” the court considers when determining the division of parenting time.
The judge considers all 11 factors to develop a full picture of the family when making a custody determination or considering a request to change custody. The child’s age and maturity may impact the judge’s likelihood of giving weight to the child’s stated preference.
Alisa Peskin-Shepherd does not believe in putting a child on the stand because it inevitably makes them feel pulled between parents. However, judges will talk with a child privately, if a party requests it.
Am I entitled to spousal support?
Whether you are entitled to spousal support or not depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. Guiding factors include: length of marriage, educational background, age of parties, ability to work, lifestyle and health. It’s important to look at each case individually.
What should I expect when hiring a divorce lawyer?
It’s wise to interview several lawyers to find the one whose personality and legal approach mesh with your style and needs. (Lawyers aren’t just problem-solvers; clients turn to us for support and guidance, too.)
Once you choose a lawyer, you will sign a retainer agreement, outlining the obligations of both client and attorney. It’s common to pay a certain amount up front, toward your retainer, and provide a method of payment for future billings.
Lawyers send detailed monthly invoices. Retainers are based on estimates of costs; actual costs incurred are detailed on every invoice.
If you do not use the full amount you put forward at the start, you will receive the remainder back. If you reconcile, any remaining retainer will be fully refunded to you. Alisa Peskin-Shepherd provides FREE first consultations!