Fault matters and Divorce in Michigan: On June 26, 2012, in Gill vs. Gill, Jr., docket no. 301839, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld an award of approximately 75% of the marital estate to our client. The trial court found the husband significantly at fault for the marital dissolution.
Daniel Findling argued at trial that an unequal division of the marital estate was justified because of the fault of the husband for the breakdown of the marriage. The trial Court agreed with Daniel Findling stating: “[Husband was] significantly at fault for the marital dissolution”, and awarded our client of over 75% of the marital estate. A Judgment of Divorce was entered in December of 2010.
As you can imagine, opposing counsel and his client were very upset with the ruling and took an Appeal of the trial court’s ruling before the Michigan Court of Appeals.
On June 26, 2012, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with Findling Law. “This case is about justice. Mrs. Gill was a victim for over 33 years of her husband’s addictions. Mr. Gill’s conduct caused this divorce and justice was served,” associate, Daniel J. DeBene of Findling Law stated after successfully arguing the case at the Michigan Court of Appeals. “I do not believe any other firm would have taken this fight on – we believe in doing what is right for our client, and the Court of Appeals agreed.”
The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the award stating that “an equitable distribution need not be an equal distribution, as long as there is an adequate explanation for the chosen distribution . . . fault is clearly a proper factor to consider in the division of property.”
The Court further upheld the trial court’s award of alimony and attorney fees.
I am proud to have represented Ms. Gill at trial and I am proud of the results obtained.
We are here to help you navigate this journey by focusing on your goals. If you have any questions concerning any aspect of the law, let me know. My direct line is 248-399-3300 or toll free: 877-968-7347.
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By: Daniel Findling
The Divorce Guy, Michigan Divorce Attorneys and Specialists
3 thoughts on “Michigan divorce law update: Fault matters”
I’ve only been married almost 3yrs but lived together 30yrs. Am I entittle to any thing.
Michigan law provides for an equitable division of property. Equitable means fair. Typically, the division of property is property acquired by reason of the marriage. In your case, 3 years. However, an argument can be made for a larger, equitable division.