The divorce laws in Michigan provide that a divorce will be granted upon a finding by the court that there has been a breakdown in the marriage. This language summarizes the no-fault divorce law that changes your legal status from married to divorced.
The Divorce Laws in Michigan – No fault divorce.
The no-fault divorce laws in Michigan is found in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.6. Section (1) of the Michigan no-fault divorce law provides that a divorce shall be granted upon the allegation that:
. . .there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.
However, the Michigan no-fault divorce statute does not mean that fault is not important. In fact, fault can be taken into consideration when dividing property, awarding alimony or examining child custody.
The Divorce Laws in Michigan – Property division
The property division divorce law in Michigan is found in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.23(1). Section (1) of the Michigan property division law provides that:
. . . the court may further award to either party the part of the real and personal estate of either party . . .”
The factors a court should take into consideration when dividing property under Michigan divorce law was established in the case of Sparks v. Sparks which provided that the following factors are to be considered:
(1) duration of the marriage; (2) contributions of the parties to the marital estate, (3) age of the parties, (4) health of the parties, (5) life status of the parties, (6) necessities and circumstances of the parties, (7) earning abilities of the parties, (8) past relations and conduct of the parties, and (9) general principles of equity.
The Divorce Laws in Michigan – Alimony / Spousal Support
The Alimony / Spousal Support divorce laws in Michigan is found in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 552.23. Section (1) of the Michigan Alimony / Spousal Support divorce law provides that:
. . . The court may award to either party . . . spousal support . . . as the court considers just and reasonable, after considering the ability of either party to pay and the character and situation of the parties, and all other circumstances of the case. . .”MCL 552.23
Michigan case law reveals a number of factors to be considered when evaluating and award of alimony / spousal support these factors include:
1. The past relations and conduct of the parties. Johnson v Johnson, Feldman v Feldman, Abadi v Abadi. 2. The length of the marriage. Abadi v Abadi. 3. The ability of the parties to work. Hoffman v Hoffman, Van Ommen v Van Ommen and Abadi, supra. 4. The source of and amount of property awarded to the parties. Pinchuk v Pinchuk, Schaffer v Schaffer and Abadi, supra. 5. The age of the parties. Johnson, supra, Abadi, supra. 6. The ability of the parties to pay alimony. Ross v Ross and Hoffman, supra. 7. The present situation of the parties. Johnson, supra, Hoffman, supra. 8. The needs of the parties. Abadi, supra. 9. The health of the parties. Johnson, supra and Abadi, supra. 10. The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others. Johnson, supra. and 11. General principles of equity. Stathas v Stathas and Hoffman, supra,Ross, supra.
The Divorce Laws in Michigan – Child Custody
The child custody in Michigan is found in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 722.27 Section (1)(a) of the Michigan child custody law provides:
(a) Award the custody of the child to 1 or more of the parties involved or to others and provide for payment of support for the child, until the child reaches 18 years of age. . .MCL 722.27
The 12 best interest of the child factors are (a) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child;(b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give love, affection, guidance, and continuation of the educating and raising the child in its religion or creed, if any; (b) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any. (c) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical and other remedial care; (d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity; (e) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes; (f) The moral fitness of the parties involved; (g) The mental and physical health of the parties involved; (h) The home, school, and community record of the child; (i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference; (j) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents; and (k) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child; and (l) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
The Divorce Laws in Michigan – Parenting time (visitation)
The parenting time and visitation law in Michigan is found in Michigan Compiled Laws Section 722.27a. Section (7) of the Michigan parenting time and visitation law provides that:
(7) The court may consider the following factors when determining the frequency, duration, and type of parenting time to be granted: (a) The existence of any special circumstances or needs of the child. (b) Whether the child is a nursing child less than 6 months of age, or less than 1 year of age if the child receives substantial nutrition through nursing. (c) The reasonable likelihood of abuse or neglect of the child during parenting time. (d) The reasonable likelihood of abuse of a parent resulting from the exercise of parenting time. (e) The inconvenience to, and burdensome impact or effect on, the child of traveling for purposes of parenting time. (f) Whether a parent can reasonably be expected to exercise parenting time in accordance with the court order. (g) Whether a parent has frequently failed to exercise reasonable parenting time. (h) The threatened or actual detention of the child with the intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent or from a third person who has legal custody. A custodial parent’s temporary residence with the child in a domestic violence shelter shall not be construed as evidence of the custodial parent’s intent to retain or conceal the child from the other parent. (i) Any other relevant factors.MCL 722.27a
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By: Daniel Findling