Adultery is one of the main reasons couples get divorced in Michigan. When someone has an extramarital affair, it often becomes too difficult for the couple to overcome and it results in the marriage ending. Many people think that when their spouse has had an affair, it will work in their favor during the divorce process. While that may be true in some cases, it is also not always the case. Below, our Michigan child custody lawyer explains how adultery can affect these issues.
Michigan is a No-Fault Divorce State
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means any time there is a breakdown in a marriage, the couple is entitled to get a divorce. The spouse filing for divorce only has to state that the marriage has broken down and that there is no chance of reconciling with their spouse. Due to the fact that all divorce cases are considered no-fault, both spouses do not have to agree to the divorce. As a result of these laws, adultery will not impact whether or not the spouses can get a divorce. As the process proceeds though, you may find that adultery does have an impact on your case.
How Adultery Can Impact Child Custody Cases
Just because an affair will not impact whether or not a couple can get divorced, it does not mean adultery will not affect other terms. Many times, adultery affects alimony and property division issues, particularly when marital funds were used for the affair. Additionally, adultery can impact whether a parent is awarded child custody.
Michigan family courts only consider the best interests of the child when making decisions on child custody. Under the best interests of the child standard, a judge will consider 12 factors. These factors include the relationship the child had with each parent, the ability of either parent to care for the child, and the moral character of each parent. If a person had an affair that caused the breakdown of an otherwise good marriage, the court may determine that they are not of good moral character, and that they should not be awarded child custody.
Additionally, if the child was exposed to the affair while it was going on, a judge may also consider that very damaging to the child. Due to the fact that the parent has not acted in the best interests of the child, a judge may award the other parent-child custody.
Our Divorce Lawyers in Michigan Can Help with Complex Cases
If you are going through a divorce, there are many factors that can make it much more complex. At the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins, our skilled Michigan divorce lawyers can advise on the laws that will impact your case, and help you claim the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys and to learn more about your legal options.