Understanding various family law processes and issues

Understanding various family law processes and issues

When family law comes to mind most people immediately think of separation, divorce proceedings and, for parties with children, child support and child custody related issues. But, Michigan residents may find it interesting to learn that family court is much more than that.

In fact, aside from the typical divorce related issues of child support, custody, property division and spousal support, family courts also deal with specialized situations, such as military divorces, annulments, paternity, post-judgment issues, adoption, change of domicile issues and alternative dispute options, such as mediation.

Special divorce proceedings like military divorce generally differ from a typical divorce proceeding in that the couple has to strictly abide by and work within the parameters of military rules. Another example of a special situation is an annulment. These are not very common, but in an annulment proceeding one party is seeking to have a court declare a marriage null and void. If the necessary elements of an annulment are not met and the court does not grant the annulment, then the parties will have to initiate a divorce proceeding. Another special situation that family courts deal with is adoption and the termination of parental rights. In some other cases, divorce can get complex, such as in cases where one party resides in a state other than Michigan or even another country. In these cases, parties may wonder if filing the necessary divorce paperwork in Michigan is acceptable. In fact, in today’s mobile society such situations are fairly common and workable.

Clearly, family courts and divorce related issues can be both simple and complex. Thus, many divorcing couples may wonder about how expensive family court proceeding can be. Regardless of one’s circumstance, it is important for parties to understand that divorce can be done cost-effectively. For instance, where the divorce is uncontested, parties can minimize both the financial and emotional expense of a divorce proceeding. Another option is mediation.

Those individuals thinking about initiating a divorce should realize that though the issues that parties encounter may be similar, every person’s circumstance is different. For more information on how our firm handles family law matters, please see our practice overview page.

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