The Michigan family courts manage plenty of cases each year where spouses fight over their shared assets and their children. Contested or litigated divorces are often what people imagine when they talk about divorce proceedings in Michigan, but not every divorce needs to involve a judge making major determinations on behalf of individuals who are working to end their unions.
Uncontested divorce proceedings are possible if spouses can agree on the terms of their divorce regarding finances and practical family matters. Some couples invest quite a bit to achieve an uncontested divorce. They may attend divorce therapy or mediation sessions with the sole goal of an uncontested filing. Why do so many people want an amicable divorce in modern-day Michigan?
Uncontested divorces help to control costs
Divorce litigation can be expensive, and the process can quickly spiral out of control once both spouses have dug in their heels and decided they will not compromise whatsoever. As a general rule, the more issues the courts need to review and rule on in a divorce, the greater the total cost of the divorce proceedings. Uncontested divorces tend to have a much lower average cost than litigated divorces that play out in family court.
Spouses may need to limit conflict
A litigated divorce is a largely adversarial process. The spouses clash with one another in the courts seeking to beat each other by securing certain terms. Although their relationship was likely already at a bad point when one spouse filed for divorce, the acrimonious process of litigating can often further damage the relationship between spouses. Especially if they share children, work in the same industry or belong to a more traditional culture, frequent interactions in the future may be likely. Therefore, preserving an amicable relationship might be a priority. Working together during the divorce can stave off future damage to the dynamic between spouses and may even help them work cooperatively.
Either spouse has specific needs
Divorce litigation is highly unpredictable. While a judge has to abide by the Michigan equitable distribution and child custody statutes, there’s a lot of discretion involved in dividing parental rights and marital property. It can be almost impossible to predict the outcome of divorce litigation. Therefore, if someone insists on specific custody rules or wants to keep sole ownership of their professional practice, an uncontested divorce where they control the final terms may be the best means of achieving those goals.
Understanding why other people pursue uncontested divorces in Michigan can help those in challenging marital circumstances better evaluate all of their options.