Chryssikos Law Firm


Q: Does it matter who files first?

A:Sometimes. Where spouses reside in different states or different counties, filing for divorce or separate maintenance first can be critical in terms of where your case is heard. It can also be important where one spouse has concerns that the other spouse may hide or deplete assets.

Q: Does fault matter in divorce cases?

A:Fault that caused the breakdown of the marriage, particulalry adultery, abuse, or addiction, can be a factor in the divorce. Issues such as alimony, property division and sometimes custody and parenting time can be affected due to fault.

Q: Is my spouse entitled to a portion of my retirement?

A:Court typically divide all assets accumulated during the marriage in an equitable fashion. However, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. There may be circumstances, such as health issues, other assets, pre-marital assets, and more that could factor into the division of retirement assets.

Q: How long do I need to be married to receive alimony?

A:There is no minimum number of years you must be married in order to receive alimony under Michigan Law. The length of your marriage is one of about a dozen factors taken into consideration by courts in deciding whether alimony should be paid. Other important factors are ability of both parties to earn, age, education, health, prior standard of living, fault, and more.

Q: At what age can my children decide which parent they wish to live with?

A:Technically, the answer is 18. So long as they remain minors (under the age of 18), the family court has jurisdiction to decide issues of custody and parenting time. However, generally speaking, the older the child, the more weight is given to their reasonable preference.

Q: Can one attorney represent both husband and wife in divorce or family law case?

A:The problem with attempting to have one lawyer handle the case in that there will likely come a point in a divorce case where having only one attorney creates a conflict of interest. The husband tells the lawyer one thing, then the wife tells the lawyer something different. Whose instruction does the lawyer follow? Because of this conflict, most lawyers make the ethical decision that they can only represent one party. However, that does not mean that the case must become contentious and filled with conflict and an amicable divorce is still possible and should remain the goal.

Q: Do I need to hire an attorney in the county in which I live?

A:No. Attorneys licensed to practice in Michigan may practice in any state court. However, it is important that your attorney is experienced practicing in the county in which your case will be filed. While the law is consistent throughout the state, a lawyer who has experience and a working knowledge of local court procedures, judge’s tendencies, local mediators and experts, will prove invaluable.



10.0James W. Chryssikos