EMPOWERING YOU TO MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS POSSIBLE IN YOUR DIVORCE
Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyers
Experienced Divorce Attorney and Mediator
As an experienced divorce lawyer and mediator, Wendy Alton understands that the breakup of a marriage is a very difficult and emotional experience. She can advise, inform, and assist you in decision-making while helping you resolve your legal problems. However, knowing that the ultimate decision is up to you, Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer Wendy Alton focuses on helping you sort through options and creative solutions.
In a Divorce, Education Empowers
Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer Wendy Alton will educate you about your options and empower you to come up with creative solutions to resolve your divorce. Most Michigan divorce cases settle without a trial. The parties eventually reach an agreement that is signed and finalized with a Judgment of Divorce. Generally speaking, once an agreement is reached, it cannot be changed without both people agreeing in writing. Because of this, it is very important to completely understand what you are agreeing to and what the ramifications are of your decision. Wendy Alton does all she can through the entire divorce process to help you understand every issue and aspect, including:
• Fault/No-Fault: While Michigan is a no-fault state as far as grounds for divorce, fault may be considered when deciding spousal support, property division, custody, and parenting time.
• Timelines: A party must reside in Michigan at least 180 days before filing for divorce, and at least 10 days in the county where the complaint is filed. If the case involves a minor child, then the divorce may not be finalized until at least 6 months after the complaint is filed. Some judges will waive the 6 months waiting period in certain circumstances.
• Documents: including:
- Proof of Service/Acknowledgment of Service
- Verified Statement to the Friend of the Court
- Record of Divorce
- Ex Parte Orders
- Motions, Notices of Hearing
- Temporary Orders
- Verified Personal Financial Statement
- Settlement Agreements
- Judgment of Divorce
- Uniform Support Orders
• Key people, such as the plaintiff, defendant, judicial attorney, friend of the court and the judge assigned to your case.
• What happens while your divorce is pending, including:
- Defining issues and obtaining facts through investigation and discovery
- Court appearances
• Issues to resolve in your case, including:
- Property and debts
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Child support
If a divorcing couple does not have young children, then their biggest concern is typically their property settlement, which is the agreed upon division of their property and debts. They often wonder what will happen with their retirement savings and their house. Marital property is defined as property acquired during the course of a marriage. Because each marriage is unique, likewise each property settlement is unique and can be creatively crafted to each individual divorce. Real estate, pensions and 401(k)s are often big stressors for people as they consider value, withdrawals, tax implications, and whether they’ll be able to refinance a home solely in their name if they want to keep their home.
In a divorce, you are dividing things you spent quite some time building and acquiring. There are no cookie-cutter solutions for that. Wendy Alton works to empower you to creatively resolve these issues, and helps you understand both short and long-term options and consequences.
After your divorce case is resolved, you may need assistance with modifications of support or parenting time, enforcement of property division provisions, or assistance with dividing qualified retirement benefits. Wendy Alton is happy to help with these issues as well.
Divorce: 4 Key Points to Consider
1. Fairness. The final settlement should be fair to both parties. If you demand more than what is fair, then you’ll be unhappy with the cost, duration and outcome of the case.
2. Final judgment. Neither of you is likely to get 100% of what you want. There will be some disappointment for you in your final settlement, or in what a judge awards you.
3. Compromise. You and your spouse will spend significantly more on legal fees if you are unable to reach mutual agreements on the issues needing resolution in your divorce case.
4. Owning your decisions. As your divorce attorney, Wendy Alton will educate and advise you, discuss the best- and worst-case scenarios and likelihood of success, and help you come up with practical solutions in your case. However, she cannot make decisions for you on how to settle your case. You must decide for yourself how your case will resolve, but Ann Arbor divorce lawyer Wendy Alton will work to empower and assist you to make the best decisions possible.
The Right Divorce Lawyer
Clients usually feel like they can trust Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer Wendy Alton immediately because she offers honest, straightforward advice and spends time educating them on their options. She’s a compassionate advocate who empowers clients to sort through options and creative solutions to make the best decisions possible for their situation.