“No-Fault” Divorce in Michigan

We know that a going through a divorce is one of the most difficult times your family may have to endure. We also know that often, one or both parties to a divorce action may feel that blame should be assigned to the other side. However, one of the most important things to know when beginning divorce proceedings is that Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. That means that a couple can be granted a divorce in this state without fault on behalf of either party. In other words, no one has to have done anything morally or legally wrong for an action for divorce to be carried out. In fact, only one person in the marriage needs to want a divorce for a court to grant it. In Michigan, no specific grounds for divorce are required either. The key language a party must allege in their complaint for divorce is the following language: “There has been a breakdown of the marital relationship to the extent the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.”
It is also important to understand that fault or wrongdoing in a divorce most often will not affect the division of property. For example, some clients enter into a divorce believing that if their spouse committed adultery, the injured spouse in entitled to more marital assets than they would have been awarded otherwise. This is most often not the case. In reality, adultery in particular has very little effect on property awards in today’s modern world.
So how may “fault,” or wrongdoing on behalf of one or more of the parties to a divorce action affect the proceedings at all? The answer is that “fault” is one of the several factors used by courts to calculate spousal support, often known by the traditional term of alimony. Not every divorce will include an award of spousal support to one of the parties. Other factors, including, but not limited to, the length of the marriage, the age of the parties, and the level of each parties’ education all come into play when a court considers a spousal support calculation. Consult with one of our esteemed family law attorneys should you have more questions about these potentially life-altering proceedings.
Navigating the challenging world of the family court system can be challenging and complex! If you need advice from an experienced family law attorney regarding your possible divorce issues, the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz can help. Please give us a call today and schedule your free consultation at 248-557-3645.

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January 17, 2020

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