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Michigan lawyer gives away free divorce in Valentine's contest

Spokane residents contemplating divorce understand what a heart wrenching decision it can be. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, perhaps the last thing anyone wants to be reminded of is divorce.

A Michigan attorney is making national headlines by taking advantage of the impending holiday in a rather unorthodox way. The attorney is holding a contest, and the prize is a free divorce. The winner will be picked on Valentine's Day. The law offices claims that the current economic climate make it difficult for couples to get divorced, and the contest is a way to help. Applicants will allegedly be judged on the most convincing and compelling stories of why they should be given a free divorce. Additionally, the divorce must be uncontested, and with little or no child custody issues.

Depending on the length, complexity and intricacy of a divorce, the timeline and costs associated with dissolution can greatly vary. In a typical divorce proceeding, your attorney will draft a petition, which is a document that states to the court why you are requesting a divorce, and how you would like to settle important issues such as custody and financial division. Your petition is filed with the court, and given to the other spouse, requesting a response from your spouse. The spouse then has a window of time to answer the complaint, and either agrees or answers the complaint. If they do not answer, the court will assume that the spouse agrees to the terms in your petition. If, however, the spouses cannot agree, the case will go to trial.

At trial, a judge will then make a decision regarding issues such as visitation, child custody, property division and spousal support. After these decisions are made, the judge will grant the divorce. Depending on the complexity of the issues and asset distribution, the whole process could take a few months, or in some extreme cases, several years.

Source: WDIV 4 Detroit, "Southfield attorney giving away free divorce in Valentine's Day contest," Rob Meloni, Feb. 7, 2013.

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