Sign In. Such persons are expected to know what the law requires and how to accomplish his or her purposed in accordance with the applicable statues and court rules. Judges and their staff cannot provide legal advice. Most court employees are not lawyers so should not be asked to provide legal advice. Employees of the court are only allowed to provide procedural information. Litigants may refer to the Michigan Court Rules and Michigan laws when seeking legal guidance. Seeking Advice : If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. If you do not have a lawyer and do not know a specific lawyer to contact, you can be referred to a lawyer through the State Bar of Michigan or the Washtenaw County Bar Association.
Dispute Resolution Center : This is a non-profit program that provides private and confidential mediation services on a non-discriminatory basis to all citizens regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, disability, or ability to pay. The Dispute Resolution Center assists individuals, groups, and businesses to work out their disagreements outside of the court.
Self-Help Information Available The court has free self-help packets available for some types of proceedings. The State Court Administrative Office has self-help information at their website. The Michigan Legal Help website provides help to persons representing themselves. Paper for your notes Pen or Pencil If you are presenting a motion, bring the corresponding proposed order to present to the judge if your motion is granted.
If you do not have an order prepared, you will need to prepare a proposed order, pursuant to MCR 2. Provide an extra copy of the proposed order and a self-addressed envelope so the clerk can return a true copy to you after the judge signs the order. If Your Motion is Taken Under Advisement The judge states the need to review the motion on record and will either adjourn the motion to another date or advise the parties in writing once they have considered the motion.
Suddenly, what should have been an easy day in court became anything but. I quickly Googled 50—50 custody under the table. With precise, down-to-the-hour 50—50 custody in New York State, I learned, the higher earner would be responsible for paying child support to the lower earner. This was one of the many issues that tore us apart, the inequity in our domestic responsibilities. My smugness was gone. I longed for a lawyer. The only way this custody hearing would work without representation is if we presented a united front.
He asked us to meet in his private chambers with his clerk, who would help us draft a temporary agreement.
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But for now—down came the gavel—our hearing was over. I cried in those private chambers. My great experiment in self-representation felt as if it had failed. Our new hearing was scheduled for three weeks later, exactly one week after I was scheduled to have major surgery to remove my cervix.
I begged my ex, with the clerk sitting between us, to just keep the arrangement we had in place. He refused.
The clerk, a woman, reached out and squeezed my hand. Fearing losing momentum, I said yes to the new court date and agreed to a temporary order of custody, acquiescing to everything my still-husband now wanted until a permanent agreement could be reached.
Self-Help Information Available
Of all the reasons I kept putting off divorce for years, this was by far the most heartbreaking: the pain of a young child caught in its cogs. Then, the next morning, a miracle. Of course it could, I said. I showed up in family court three weeks later, fresh from having my cervix yanked. The rest of the pro se proceedings went fairly smoothly, after I lost several weeks to further complications from the surgery, when the stitches holding me together came undone.
I bled out, which required a second emergency surgery three weeks after the first. Child-support payments were decided in a single hearing in family court by a support magistrate , who is not a judge but who has legal authority to decide issues of child support. Would a lawyer have argued for more support money on my behalf?
Friends afterward told me I was cheating myself and my kids, going it alone. But though a lawyer might have been able to increase my child-support payments by a small fraction, our combined income back then was modest and finite. Would that tiny margin of more support really outweigh the cost of the legal fees it took to achieve? Either one spouse will have to buy out the other, or the home will have to be sold so that the proceeds can be split evenly. I understand why many of my divorced friends wanted to keep the family home, so the kids could have some stability amidst the chaos.
In fact, a clean slate felt better, liberating.
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When the child-support hearing was over, my ex and I reached across the aisle and spontaneously hugged. The judge smiled. At the end of December , I finally had what I thought were all the signed papers, rulings, and affidavits in hand. Or was it steps? I panicked. Felt paralyzed once more. The handout at the courthouse listed 20 documents I needed to file to be done with my divorce, in a specific order, and looking over that list, I had no idea what most of them were.
I emailed Delruelle and apologized for bothering her again, but I needed help navigating the final leg of this journey. With knee surgery for a torn meniscus scheduled days later, I begged him: Please, I was heading into another six-to-eight-week recovery. I really wanted to file the final papers prior. Sorry, he said. It could not be helped.vigpy.tk
How to File a Divorce in Michigan
Halfway up the stairs, I started to laugh. It all felt too symbolically on point, the lady on crutches struggling up the stairs, the massive Corinthian colonnade of justice, the inscription carved into granite: The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government. Yes , I thought. All couples should have access to a legal expert who can help them through a divorce, step by step, as well as fair judges, such as the ones we were lucky enough to get, to dispense justice. But maybe the true administration of justice is, at a minimum, an ability for two people to amicably get divorced without breaking the bank or going to war.
Nice job! The school-project-looking postcard would, I was told, arrive at my home when the divorce had finally gone through, approximately four months after the date of filing.
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I did. With a little backstage guidance from a lawyer acquaintance. It only took a year and three months from start to finish. Plus four years of paralysis before I started the process.