Michigan No Fault Divorce

Many people know that Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. Often times, however, they do not have a true understanding of what that means. In a nutshell, all that it means is that fault does not have to be shown/proven by either side in order to obtain a divorce. All that is required is that the jurisdictional requirements have been satisfied (one party a resident of Michigan for at least 180 days; one party a resident of the county filed in for at least 10 days) and that the statutory grounds for divorce are fulfilled: “There has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”

Property Division/Spousal Support/Child Custody/Support

Although Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, fault can play a major role when it comes to dividing property and ordering spousal support (alimony). In fact, fault is specifically provided for as a factor to consider when it comes to evaluating how marital assets and debts should be divided. It is also a significant factor in determining whether spousal support is appropriate, and if so, may play a role in determining the duration and amount of support that should be awarded.

Even though fault is not specifically referred to in determining what the best interests of a minor child are for custody determinations, judges are supposed to consider “the moral fitness of the parties involved” and “any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.” Is fault alone likely to sway a judge’s decision on how to award custody? Probably not, but it is likely to be considered. And depending on how custody is awarded, a party may end up paying additional child support as the formula takes into account which party has custody and how many overnight stays a child will be with the non-custodial parent.

Hire an Experienced Michigan Attorney

If divorce is staring you in the face, you should not hesitate. Contact our office for a free consultation. Goldman & Associates are experienced family law attorneys who can inform you of the law, and apply it to the facts of your case. Call us today at 586-268-2400 and put the law on your side.