How do I know if my spouse is filing for divorce in Michigan? I don't want to be caught by surprise by a Michigan divorce
Many clients who are charged with domestic violence are worried that their spouse is meeting with a high-powered divorce attorney who has the tools to take away my client's home, retirement accounts, clear out bank accounts, and take the kids away while demanding spousal and child support. This is terrifying on top of being charged with a serious crime.
As you'd read in my various survival guides, there are different types of domestic violence cases in Michigan, and many cases have a couple, spouse or family member who wants to remain with my client, and is working hard to help us resolve the case. We don't expect a family court case to be opened up against my client, but there are some cases where we need to worry.
If the alleged victim has requested that the no-contact order stay in place, and they have filed for a PPO and obstructed my client seeing his/her kids, and has been difficult about picking up items from the household, I have my team check the online circuit court case search on a regular basis to check for PPO filings and custody/divorce cases.
Along with the initial check of the online sites, I have a sit-down with my client about their options. If my client is falsely accused on domestic violence, and the alleged victim is doing everything in their power to ruin my client's life, I will usually discuss my client's options to file their own family court proceeding if kids are involved or the parties are married.
If kids are involved, especially young ones, it may be difficult to see those kids if they are living with the alleged victim and they don't have their own access to a vehicle or a cellphone. This is when my client needs a circuit court judge to step in and possibly sign an ex-parte order for parenting time and make sure that my client still has the ability to participate in decisions for the children. Just because my client is charged with DV, doesn't mean they are no longer a mom or dad to the kids.
If the parties are married, we discuss filing for a divorce and taking proactive measures with the finances such as filing for ex-parte orders to essentially put a freeze on spending, reallocating assets, closing, withdrawing accounts and money etc. A motivated victim will use the DV charges and potential conviction against my client in a divorce, if they are falsely accused, they need to file a divorce and essentially make a strong point that they do not want to be with someone who is falsely accusing them of a serious crime, and they are fighting the criminal charge and asserting their rights in the circuit court over the couples assets and privileges.