If you are planning to file for divorce in Michigan, or if your spouse has filed for divorce or has told you about his or her plans to file, you may have questions about proving fault. Many spouses in Michigan want to know whether they will need to prove that the other spouse was at fault in order to be eligible for a divorce. Some spouses worry about proving fault because the decision to file for divorce is one arrived at relatively amicably with the other spouse, and there is a sense between the parties that neither one of them is really “at fault” for the breakup of the marriage. In other cases, one of the parties might be eager to allege fault because she or he is filing for divorce because the other spouse had a long-term affair and spent a significant portion of the couple’s assets on that affair.
Generally speaking, Michigan is a “no-fault” state for divorce purposes. We will tell you more about what that means for your divorce, and how fault may impact issues of property and support.
You do Not Need to Allege or Prove Fault to Get Divorced in Michigan
The first thing to know, and the most important when it comes to Michigan’s no-fault divorce system, is that you do not need to allege fault or prove fault in order to have a Michigan court finalize your divorce. Under Michigan law, Michigan is a no-fault state, which means fault is not relevant for the court in determining whether a divorce is appropriate. Many states have shifted to no-fault systems in which the parties only need to show that there has been a breakdown of their relationship and that there is no reasonable prospect of salvaging it.
When the couple has separated, or there is other evidence that the relationship has become irretrievably broken, the court will be able to grant the divorce. However, fault can still be relevant when it comes to financial matters in a Michigan divorce.
Fault and Financial Matters in a Michigan Divorce
If one of the parties had an extra-marital affair and caused the breakdown of the marriage, this fact may play a role in the court’s decision to award alimony. Further, if one of the spouses had an extra-marital affair in which she or he used a significant amount of marital assets for vacations, hotels, and gifts for a maintain the extra-marital affair, the court can certainly take such facts into account when determining how marital assets should be divided between the parties.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Michigan
Do you need assistance filing for divorce? Or do you have questions about how fault in a marriage ultimately may impact how alimony is awarded or marital property is divided? One of the experienced Michigan divorce attorneys at our firm can speak with you today about your divorce case. While Michigan is a no-fault state, matters of fault can be relevant when it comes to alimony or the division of marital property, as we explained above. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information.