Frequently Asked Questions

The Law Office of JJ Edwards PLLC in Burton, MI offers our clients easy-to-understand legal information and direction for any legal issue concerning family law, probate, or employment legal issues.

What Can I Expect to Pay in Court Fees?

You may typically expect to pay up to $230 to file a motion to open a new divorce case. Depending on your income, it may be possible for you to get those fees waived by the court.

Do I Have to Hire an Attorney?

You never HAVE to hire an attorney, but it is often in your best interest. It may seem easy to simply represent yourself when the opposing side is not retaining counsel; however, if the other side is retaining counsel, it is extremely advisable for you to do the same. You will be at an advantage by having a professional who knows the law on your side.

Even if you think you can't afford an attorney, you should at least talk to one. Many attorneys offer free or low-cost consultations. Although it's not as ideal as having an attorney every step of the way, requesting a consultation is a lot better than going into your case blind. You’ll want to know what you're getting into, and what to look out for in your particular situation.

Oftentimes, people wait to consult an attorney at the end of their case, or after the divorce is finalized, only to realize it's too late. Many couples think they have an easy, uncontested divorce, until issues such as spousal support and pension come up, thereby causing someone to lose in the end. Make sure you know your rights and what you might be entitled to.

What Are Your Fees?

We have a wide range of fees, depending on the complexity of your case. We clearly discuss your needs during an initial consultation in order to explain what the fees are. We can discuss whether a flat fee or retainer fee is best for you, along with possible payment plan options.

Can I Bring People with Me to Court?

It may seem comforting to have your new significant other by your side during divorce proceedings, but that may also antagonize your soon-to-be ex. The result may be that he or she is significantly less willing to negotiate. This can hurt you in the end. The same goes for siblings, parents, and friends who often only add to the tension with their presence. If your support system will likely create tension for your spouse, with the possibility of heated exchanges in court, the situation could only get worse.

While it's great to have a support system, and you don't want to attend court by yourself, you should be mindful of what your friend or family member is bringing to the process. Their presence can often do more harm than good. An objective, experienced legal professional is a better alternative.

Can Children Decide Where They Live During a Custody Case?

The law allows courts to consider preferences of the children, and may assign weight to their preference based on their age and maturity. However, it is ultimately the decision of the parents and, ultimately, the judge, to decide where the child goes.

You should think carefully before trying to burden your children with such a decision that can put them right in the middle of a dispute that should only involve the parents.

Of course, divorce is emotional, and can yield a lot of contempt on either side. However, when there are children involved, it's hard enough for them to deal with the divorce or separation without being placed in the middle to choose sides, or be used as pawns.

We encourage you to be very conscious of how this process affects your children. Don't use parenting time to gain leverage on child support. Try to remember that unless there is some significant harm that the other parent is going to cause the children, the children will want, and need, to be around both parents. Don't drag them into your battle.