The LAC is Reopening!
Starting on Monday, July 6, 2020 you can once again get help in person at the Legal Assistance Center. Initially, open hours will be limited to 10 am to 2 pm from Monday to Friday.

For your safety and the safety of our staff and volunteers, you will be required to wear a mask or face covering to enter the courthouse and to get help at the LAC. To promote social distancing we will be limiting the number of people in the LAC.

If you are not feeling well, have a fever, or have been exposed to someone who has or may have COVID-19, please stay home and be well. You can still get help by phone by calling 616-632-6000. You will be asked to leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we can.
Collaborative Divorce

Opportunity for Healthy Divorce

Unfortunately for many families, using the court to resolve disputes in divorce can make conflict worse rather than better. The court divorce process is “adversarial.” The spouses are set up as opponents and expected to “battle” to the end. Families and children can pay the price when living with conflict and bad feelings during and after the divorce.

But, there are other approaches that are designed to reduce conflict, promote cooperation, and create a path to healthy parenting in the future. One of these options is Collaborative Divorce. With Collaborative Divorce, the parties are supported by lawyers and other professionals who help them work together outside the court to craft solutions that will work well for their family in the future.

Thanks to a new project of Legal Aid of Western Michigan the Collaborative Divorce process is now available to low income families. To qualify for the project, both spouses’ incomes must be at or below 200% of poverty AND there must be allegations of domestic abuse.

For families who qualify, one spouse will get a lawyer from Legal Aid of Western Michigan and the other will get a lawyer who has volunteered to help for free.  Together they will work with a Divorce Coach who will help them find the best solutions for their family.

If you would like to use Collaborative Divorce and think your family may qualify, contact Legal Aid of Western Michigan at 616-774-0672.

Many private attorneys offer Collaborative Divorce as well.  If you are interested in using the process, be sure to ask when looking for and hiring an attorney.

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