A marriage is void ab initio (Latin for void as if it never existed) if it is performed while a prior spouse, from whom no divorce was granted, is still living. Michigan Compiled Laws 552.1. It is impossible for a bigamous marriage to be ratified. Therefore you have proper grounds not for a divorce, but for an annulment of your marriage. Your "wife" will have no proper claims against you for a piece of your pension or any other assets you may own in your sole name. She would also not be entitled to spousal support. You should seek the counsel of an experienced family law attorney to further explain your rights.
You should video tape everything that is in the house, including contents of drawers and cabinets, Hire an attorney immediately and get a restraining order prohibiting destruction of property. If you feel she'll destroy it anyway, get it out of the house if at all possible.See question
Try to get the names of some experienced family law attorneys. Check out their website. See what kind of experience they have handling family law cases. Interview a few by phone, then pick the one you feel most comfortable with.See question
Although Michigan is a no fault divorce state in the sense that you need not prove fault to get a divorce, fault does play a role in both property division and spousal support. For proof, you need admissible evidence showing that it is more probable than not that your spousal committed adultery. Hiring a PI may help prove the point. Hiring an experienced family law attorney will help drive the point home. Good luck.See question
Although a prenuptial agreement is always preferred to protect premarital property, the law usually accepts the premise that property owned prior to the marriage is separate property. Although there are exceptions to the rule, you can usually get a credit for premarital property if it wasn't comingled with marital property or contributed to in a significant way by marital property. The rules on this are sometimes conflicting and confusing. You should consult with an attorney who focuses their practice only on family law, to help guide you in protecting your premarital assets.See question
Service by mail is not adequate service of process unless you sign and date the Acknowledgment of Service located on the back of the Summons and return it to the lawyer who sent it to you. Nevertheless, clearly, a case has been started and you need to find a lawyer to represent you. There are a number of issues in this case, including custody, parenting time, child support and spousal support for you, valuation of her practice for property settlement purposes, and related issues. While service of process wasn't accomplished, you might as well hire an attorney and start the process rolling. Be sure you hire someone whose practice focuses solely on divorce.See question
Personally, I think if the situation in the house has become unbearable, you should ask the court that your husband be asked to leave the house, not you. Possession is important. You have a premarital interest in this home. You should not abandon that. While it is not impossible for you to preserve your interest in the home while out of it, it would be better if you were in it.See question
All you need to do is have a section in the Judgment of Divorce that states that your maiden name, whatever that happens to be, is hereby restored. For example, " It is further ordered and adjudged that the defendant Jane Doe's maiden name, to wit, Jane Roe, be and the same is hereby restored." Make sure that you get several certified copies of your Judgment of Divorce. You'll need to take it to the social security office and the Secretary of State Driver's License bureau to have them change your name. There may be other entities that will need proof of the name change. Having a certified copy of your Judgment ensures that they will take the change seriously.
The first questions you need to ask yourself is whether your house in in your joint name with your husband or is it in his name alone. If it's in joint names, he can't assign away any interest in the home without your written permission. If it's in his name alone, you'll want to immediately hire an attorney to get a restraining order preventing him from assigning an interest in the home. As to your sending him a check for 1/2 the mortgage, there may be legitimate reasons why you should not be contributing anything, or at the very least, less than 1/2 the mortgage. A lot depends on the situation surrounding your having to leave the house, and the amount of your respective incomes. You definitely shouldn't pay more than your pro rata share based upon your respective incomes. One other thing, if the abuse was particularly severe, especially if there was physical abuse, you may be entitled to more than 1/2 the marital estate. Given the little information provided, there's not much more help I can give you. I would definitely state that you need an experienced family law attorney to guide you through this process.See question
Spousal Support is based on a number of factors. You've been married a relatively long time. You're in poor health and may not be able to return to the job market. Spousal support, and its duration, will be predicated on how much he earns, the extent of the property to be divided between you, and fault, among other factors. With additional information, an experienced family law attorney should be able to give you a reasonable idea of what kind of spousal support you should expect in this case and for how long. As to whether the house should be kept by you, or sold, will depend on a number of factors. I wouldn't consent to listing the house until you've had a chance to have an experienced family law attorney review the entirety of the situation.See question