For many Oakland County couples, once they decide that they’re ready to end their marriages and move on to better futures, they want to get rolling as quickly as possible. They don’t want to linger over the division of assets any more than need be, and they don’t want to waste unnecessary time arguing about alimony. They want to wrap it up and get on with life. And who could blame them? Divorces are stressful, and most people don’t want the process to last any longer than it needs to. But what many divorcing Oakland County couples don’t realize is that they don’t actually have complete control over their divorce timeline.
Michigan has a required “cooling off” period that must be observed.
Michigan law says that when someone files for divorce there’s a mandatory waiting period before the divorce can be finalized that isn’t optional. For couples without children, the waiting period is 60 days. It can seem like an eternity but it’s a flash in the pan when you compare it to the enforced waiting period for people with kids. Oakland County couples with children who decide to end their marriages will discover that the state makes them wait a full 6 months before allowing them to finalize their divorces.
But don’t worry – that ‘down time’ isn’t wasted!
There’s a difference between “proceeding with your divorce” and “finalizing your divorce”. Although the state makes you wait after you first file, you aren’t required to sit on your thumbs and do nothing during that time. In fact, during the enforced wait time, your divorce attorney is going to be very busy making sure that all sorts of things are getting done. A divorce, like Rome, isn’t built in a day. So your attorney will spend this time investigating, obtaining court orders (when necessary), handling custody issues, negotiating alimony settlements, mediating, and taking care of all those many loose ends that need tying up before you can walk off (alone) into the sunset.
So what can you do during this enforced waiting period?
In most cases, there’s more to the average Oakland County divorce than simply filling and parting ways. There are lots of things that need to be done, and this is the time to do them. For example, after you file for divorce you still need to:
- Divide your assets so you and your spouse know exactly who gets what when the divorce is final.
- Figure out child custody and visitation if you have kids. It’s important to have a plan in place for how much time will be spent with each parent after the divorce.
- Agree on child support. If one parent is going to be paying child support, you’ll have to figure out those details before the divorce is official.
- Address the issue of alimony. Not every divorcing couple has a spousal support agreement, but if that’s part of your divorce, then now’s the time to deal with that.
- Get your life in order. This is a big one – you’re going to need your own bank accounts and credit cards, your own place to live, and bills in your own name. So while you wait for the court to grant your divorce, it would be a good idea to prepare yourself for your new future.
It’s a busy time, so get good help and get cracking!
One of the best things you can do, if you’re planning to end your marriage, is make sure you have a great divorce attorney with decades of experience and access to loads of great resources. In other words, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and ask to speak to one of our family law attorneys. We’ve been helping the people of Oakland County with all their family law needs for over a quarter century, and we’re very good at what we do. So don’t wait. When the time comes, and you know you’re ready to start the process, let us know and we’ll be happy to help you navigate every aspect of this process from the very first filing to the final hearing in court.