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Grand Rapids Family Lawyer

For many people, dealing with a family-related legal issue is their first introduction to Michigan’s court system. Among those who try to navigate the process on their own, some succeed, but most find that the process only becomes more confusing and stressful as it moves along. While there are plenty of companies that offer free “forms” and try to sell you on “self-help” packages that you can download online, the truth is that these fall short of meeting most people’s needs and many people learn years later that they ended up with poor results that are difficult or impossible to fix.

The reason for this is simple: Family-related legal issues are inherently personal. No two families are the same and there is no single solution that will work to resolve different families’ different legal needs. Whether you are contemplating a divorce, need to establish custody rights or are dealing with an issue of parental alienation, the details matter and you need to pursue the best resolution based upon your individual circumstances. An experienced Grand Rapids family lawyer can help.

Family Lawyers Serving Grand Rapids and West Michigan

At Kraayeveld Law, we provide full-service and personalized legal representation for complex family law matters. We fight hard to protect what is important to you. If we are able to settle a case, we will work towards that goal (and we have attorneys who are court-approved mediators), but often it is necessary to take an aggressive approach and we will not hesitate to fight for you at trial. Do you have questions? Call us today for a free consultation.

What is Family Law?

“Family” and “law” are two concepts that most people don’t often put together. But, while family matters are personal, the reality is that they often have legal implications as well. Getting married, getting divorced, having a child, relocating after a separation – these are all events that can have long-term legal consequences and they need to be treated accordingly.

Of course, most people don’t think about the legal aspects of their major life decisions until they start running into problems. If this is your situation, don’t worry. You are not alone. With the benefit of hindsight, there is a good chance that you would have planned ahead. But, things happened, your situation is what it is, and now it is time to do what is necessary in order to move forward.

The lawyers in our office have extensive experience representing clients in Grand Rapids and West Michigan in a broad range of family law matters. Regardless of what your next steps should be, we can help you make smart decisions and guide you every step of the way. With our exclusive focus on family law, we help clients navigate situations like yours on a daily basis. Of course, as we said, no two situations are exactly alike. So, while we will use our experience to help you, we will also work with you one-on-one to craft a solution that is custom-tailored to your unique individual circumstances.

What can we do to help? Our firm is devoted to representing parents, spouses and other family members facing:

Michigan Family Law FAQs

Q: How do I know when it is time to hire a family lawyer?

If you are wondering whether you need to hire a family lawyer, there is a good chance that you do. When you contact us, we can help you decide whether it makes sense to schedule a free initial consultation. If so, one of our attorneys in Grand Rapids will be happy to meet with you to go over your options in confidence.

Q: If I am getting divorced, will my spouse and I each need to pay for an attorney?

Not necessarily. While both spouses may need independent legal representation (especially if their divorce ends up involving a lot of disputes), what we can do is represent you, prepare a judgment that reflects your best interests and then provide it to you so that you can discuss it with your spouse. In many cases, this is all that is necessary in order to finalize the terms of a divorce.

Q: My spouse and I agree that it is time to go our separate ways. Is it okay to complete our divorce online?

We advise our clients against the online divorce option for a variety of reasons. First, there is really no such thing as an “online divorce.” While you can download a form and instructions, in order to get divorced in Michigan, you still need to file documents including a judgment with the court.

Additionally, online divorce forms aren’t designed to address the most challenging issues that can come up in a divorce. Which of your assets are subject to distribution? Are you entitled to a share of your spouse’s 401(k)? How can you ensure that your custody and visitation plan complies with Michigan law? These are just a few of the questions that tend to get overlooked when spouses try to use online forms.

Q: My former spouse stopped paying alimony. What can I do?

If your former spouse stopped paying alimony, our attorneys can go to court to enforce your rights. You are entitled to the payments stated in your judgment, and a failure to pay can subject your former spouse to sanctions and other penalties.

Q: My former spouse seems to be earning more than he or she was at the time of our divorce. Can I have my child support increased?

If your former spouse is earning more than he or she was when you got divorced, you may be able to have his or her support obligations increased. We can assess your situation to determine whether a petition for modification is warranted.

Q: Can we use mediation?

Yes!  Mediation is ordered in nearly all divorce and custody cases. Mediation is a practical and cost-effective way to resolve conflicts in many divorces and other family-related disputes. However, you still need to go through the court process of filing and completing your divorce or custody case.  It is very important to have a competent attorney draft your final order. We can help you prepare for mediation and provide you with independent advice to ensure that you get the best results possible from the mediation process.

Request a Free Consultation With a Grand Rapids Family Lawyer

If you would like to speak with a Grand Rapids family lawyer about your situation, we encourage you to contact our law offices for a free, no-obligation consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 616-285-0808 or send us a confidential message online today.