Divorce Practice Center

Grand Rapids Settlement Attorneys

At DAWN (Divorce Attorneys for Women), we offer a safe place for women facing divorce and its related challenges that may include asset divisiondomestic violence and abusechild custody and visitation, and post-judgment modification, to resolve their situations and protect their legal rights as women, mothers, human beings, and partners in marriage. At DAWN, a client’s case does not begin and end with legal documents. Rather, we provide a place for women to make peace with what went wrong in their lives, and build structure for moving forward and starting a better life.

From our Grand Rapids office, we have for 35 years passionately represented women, throughout West Michigan, including in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Battle Creek, Rockford, Grand Haven, Allegan, Saugatuck, Lowell, Kalamazoo, and in Kent County, Ottawa County, Allegan County, Barry County, and Muskegon County. For compassionate, experienced legal representation, contact a divorce attorney for women at DAWN. We can help.

Divorce – An Overview

Contemplating divorce is difficult. Whether or not you are sure you want to end your marriage, it helps to learn the basics of divorce law. Should you conclude that divorce is necessary, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

A divorce is a judicial decree by which a valid marriage is dissolved. From a legal standpoint, the divorce process will divide the couple’s assets and debts; determine the future care and custody of their children; and give each person the legal right to marry someone else.

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Division of Property

When a couple has little or no marital property, no children and no disagreement on spousal maintenance/alimony, their divorce usually goes very quickly. Most couples, however, have numerous issues to work out during the divorce process. These issues may involve children or significant marital property: personal property, real estate, a family business, large or concealed debts, trusts, real property in other states, joint and separate accounts, investments, insurance, pensions and other assets.

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Questions to Ask During Divorce

Whether to end your marriage is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever encounter. While this is an emotional matter, it is important to approach certain aspects of it with an analytical perspective. This is a decision that should take into account numerous issues. Once you review the following list of questions, you may reconsider your goals — or you may be better prepared to move forward while working with an attorney. Contact an experienced family law attorney to help you along the journey.

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Dealing with Divorce

For some, divorce may feel like a liberating new beginning. For most, however, it is not so straightforward. The end of a relationship as important as a marriage brings numerous difficult emotions. Indeed, recovering from a divorce is similar to the grieving process one experiences when a loved one dies. The process typically consists of five stages: shock and denial; anger; ambivalence; depression; and recovery. Not everyone experiences these emotions in the same way or in the same order. You may move in and out of a phase more than once, even experiencing more than one phase at a time. It is a difficult and time-consuming process. Family counselors advise that it may take as long as one or two years to truly recover.

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An Amicable Divorce

Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences you will ever face. The decision to end a marriage is not an easy one, and often it is accompanied by anger, fear and resentment. The negative emotions associated with divorce are responsible for more than hurt feelings; they affect the legal process and its outcome. Most importantly, if children are involved, they can be deeply distressed. It is in your family’s interest to approach divorce from an amicable perspective; this can spare you a great deal of time, money and heartache. An experienced family law attorney can help you deal with your situation clearly and objectively.

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Divorce Resource Links

Medline Plus: Divorce
National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health information on overcoming the stresses and conflicts of divorce.

Divorce and Separation: An Overview
An overview of divorce law from Cornell University Law School's Legal Information Institute.

IRS: Publication 504 - Divorced or Separated Individuals
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) help for separated or divorced tax filers who have questions about preparing their returns.

IRS: Topic 452 - Alimony Paid
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) document detailing tax treatment of alimony payments.

Facts for Consumers: Credit and Divorce
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) site on how divorce affects credit accounts.

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