Q: Can the judge dismiss my divorce because of delays?
Couples considering getting divorced in Michigan have to work out the terms of their divorce amicably or, if they are unable to agree on terms, a judge will decide for them—or even dismiss their case.
All couples need to work out how their property will be divided. In addition, they must determine if one spouse will pay alimony or spousal support to the other, and if so, how much and for how long.
But for couples who have children together, the most emotional and potentially contentious part of the divorce involves establishing child custody, parenting time, and child support. The court is committed to considering what will be in the best interests of the children when deciding on these important terms.
If divorce is difficult on the parents, it's generally far worse for the children. It's always in their best interest for their parents to commit to co-parenting amicably after the divorce. While movies often depict spouses fighting during and after divorce, some parents do rise to the occasion and co-parent amicably--if for no reason other than putting their love for their children before their feelings for their soon-to-be ex.
Sometimes, the stress of living unhappily under one roof abates when the couple establishes two separate households. In fact, if things are running smoothly after the split, couples may stall their divorce proceedings.
So, what happens then?
State laws differ, but in most states, the court may on its own dismiss a divorce proceeding for failure to prosecute or may so do on the motion of the parties. A divorce is not final until the judge enters the divorce decree.
Celebrity couple, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner--who were married for over 10 years before separating and filing for divorce-- were in the news recently after reportedly being warned that their divorce proceeding, pending for “more than a year”, may be dismissed for failure to prosecute.
Hiring a skilled family law attorney can help keep divorce proceedings moving along whenever possible.
From our office in Rochester, Michigan, we represent clients exclusively in family law matters throughout the following counties: Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee and Wayne County.