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Is Michigan a No-Fault Divorce State?

Is Michigan a No-Fault Divorce State?

27 / April 2021

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Is Michigan a No-Fault Divorce State?

It is a sad fact that nearly half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. While there are many reasons couples get a divorce, these reasons will not factor in when one spouse files for divorce. Still, fault sometimes is an issue during the divorce process, but has little to do with one spouse actually filing. Below is more information about the no-fault laws in Michigan and what spouses need to show when they are ready to file.

Michigan’s No-Fault Divorce Laws

Like most states today, Michigan operates under no-fault divorce laws. This means that couples can get a divorce without accusing their spouse of being at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. Any spouse filing for divorce in Michigan simply has to state that the marital relationship has broken down and there is no chance that the marriage can be preserved.

No-fault laws are beneficial to individuals who want to divorce their spouse. In fault states, the spouse who files for divorce must prove with clear and convincing evidence that their spouse was to blame for the breakdown of the marital relationship. A divorce is not granted until that proof is shown. Today, many states have a fault option, but no-fault divorce is still an option in all states. Michigan is a true no-fault divorce state, which means a spouse cannot accuse their spouse of wrongdoing within the divorce complaint.

What Happens When a Spouse Does Not Agree to the Divorce?

Another benefit of no-fault divorce laws is that both spouses do not have to agree to the divorce. As long as one spouse states that there has been a breakdown of the marital relationship and there is little chance of reconciliation, a spouse can get a divorce even if their partner does not agree to it.

When Fault Plays a Role in a Michigan Divorce

Although Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, that does not mean that wrongdoing in a marriage will never be a part of the proceedings. While fault cannot be mentioned within the initial divorce complaint, the issue can be raised during certain divorce hearings. 

For example, if a husband had an affair and spent marital funds on that affair, the wife may be awarded more in alimony to compensate for those lost marital funds. A judge may also award more in property division when appropriate. Using the same example, a judge may allow the wife to keep her entire business even though without accusations of fault it would be considered marital property and, therefore, subject to division.

Our Michigan Family Lawyers Can Advise on Your Case

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, but it is still important to raise certain allegations during the process to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve. At Iafrate & Salassa, our Clinton Township family lawyers can advise on your case, help you file, and assist throughout the entire process. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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