Fault and Alimony in Michigan
This article discusses the role of fault and alimony in Michigan divorce cases. Fault is one of 11 factors a court should consider when deciding if an award of alimony in Michigan is appropriate. When the legislature changed divorce law in Michigan in 1971 from a fault based system to a no-fault based system questions arose regarding the role of Fault and alimony in Michigan.
In the landmark case of Sparks v. Sparks, the Michigan Supreme Court decided that fault (for example, domestic violence, sexual infidelity, or other misconduct) is relevant in determining property and alimony awards. Although the Sparks case primarily dealt with fault and property division, the court concluded that the law that existed before the legislature changed the divorce law in Michigan from a fault based system to a no-fault system remains good law. The no-fault divorce law did not effect fault and alimony in Michigan. Therefore, a court should consider fault as one factor in determining an alimony award. Fault and alimony in Michigan are directly related.
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By: Daniel Findling