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Divorce Litigation

Divorce Michigan: Will You Need a Grand Rapids Divorce Litigation Attorney?

Everyone wants their divorce to settle out of court. Going to trial is never a first choice for anyone involved in a divorce, a child custody dispute, or any other family law matter. But sometimes settlement negotiations break down and the parties are so far apart that there is no choice but to take the case to trial. Fortunately, Kraayeveld Law Offices has Grand Rapids divorce attorneys who are skilled in the courtroom.

Not all family lawyers are experienced divorce litigators. If you are involved in a contested divorce or are facing issues that seem like they are unlikely to be resolved without a judge’s order, it is important that your family law attorney is ready, willing and able to take your case to court.

Why You Need An Experienced Divorce Trial Attorney By Your Side

When you work with an experienced Grand Rapids divorce litigation attorney, you are putting the other side on notice that going to trial remains an option, a fact that can give additional weight and consideration to terms you find favorable during settlement negotiations. In the event the case does go to trial, you will be secure in the knowledge that you have experienced divorce trial counsel by your side to see the case through to final judgment or, if necessary, appeal.

The Michigan Divorce Litigation Process

Like all divorce cases, the process starts with one spouse filing a complaint for divorce in the appropriate court. Because Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, you do not need to prove your spouse was at fault, or defend against allegations that you were at fault, in causing the divorce. However, fault can play a role in the court’s determination of issues such as child custody, how assets are divided, and spousal support. This is when having an experienced divorce litigator by your side can make a difference.

After the complaint is filed and answered, the parties undergo the process of discovery where each side seeks out information about the other’s assets and evidence they intend to utilize in court. Again, the skills of an experienced Grand Rapids divorce litigation attorney — someone who knows how to dig deep for evidence needed in a trial — will come into play as documents are gathered and witnesses are deposed.

During the divorce trial, which in Michigan occurs before a judge rather than a jury, you and your spouse will each have a chance to call witnesses and present documents and other evidence to support your respective cases. Each side will attempt to discredit the other’s evidence and assertions through cross examination and the presentation of rebuttal witnesses and evidence. It is here that your Grand Rapids divorce lawyer’s litigation talents will be most critical.

After each side has had a chance to present their case, the judge will consider all the evidence before issuing a final order that grants the divorce and decides the issues that were in dispute. Unless you appeal the order, the judge’s decree is final.

Protecting Children During Divorce Litigation

One of the most hotly contested issues in divorce surrounds child custody and child support arrangements. And one of the biggest concerns many divorcing spouses have is about their children’s emotional well being during this process and if professionals or the judge will take their wishes into consideration while resolving a high conflict child custody case.

Depending on the child’s age and the issues before the court, a child may be required to  be interviewed in private by the judge in chambers, away from both parents and the public nature of the courtroom. In other instances, the court might appoint a special advocate, called a guardian ad litem, to investigate and report  the interests of the child.

If you are concerned that your child may have to become involved in your case, an attorney with experience in divorce trials will know how to work with the court staff, including the presiding judge, to help keep your child protected.

Contact Grand Rapids Divorce Litigators Today for a Free Consultation

If you are dealing with a contested divorce that could end up in court – or if you just want the peace of mind of knowing that your advocate can take your case to trial if that became necessary — you need a family law attorney who will aggressively advocate for you both inside and outside the courtroom. To learn more, send us a confidential message online or give us a call at 616-219-0179 to schedule an appointment.