Is Fault Considered in a Michigan Divorce?

by | Jan 8, 2013 | Law

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The state of Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means that one party in a marriage can file for a divorce without any basis or reason for doing so. No one has to be at fault, and divorces can be pursued or finalized just on the basis of a husband or wife wanting to end the marriage. When there has been adultery, financial dishonesty, or other problems that in reality are the reason a divorce has been sought, it can be difficult for the person who is filing.

At times, divorce may be filed when the person who is at fault is actually a danger to themselves as well as to other members of the family, such as in cases of drug and alcohol abuse, or physical and sexual abuse of the spouse or children. In these cases, you should of course take steps to protect yourself and your family, which may involve filing charges in criminal court (if physical or sexual abuse has occurred). Your divorce lawyer in Troy, MI can fully discuss with you what kind of options you have to protect yourself. But for the purposes of a divorce itself, these factors will not automatically play a role in determining the division of assets and liabilities.

Fault can play a factor through complex and expensive litigation if you are in a struggle over certain properties or businesses. A full discussion with your divorce lawyer in Troy, MI should occur before you decide it is worth it to go this route. The longer you take processing the divorce, the more it is going to cost, so often it is not worth pursuing fault. In most cases, a divorce lawyer in Troy, MI will recommend against it unless there is a substantial property or asset that may be lost.

Establishing fault for the sake of child custody may seem more relevant. In cases of physical or sexual abuse where one spouse presents a danger, litigation to establish fault should be sought and can be clearly ascertained if there are criminal judgments that can be submitted. A divorce lawyer in Troy, MI will assist you in processing court documents and pursuing the means to protect you and your children from an abusive spouse. Given that there are twelve child custody factors in Michigan, it usually isn’t likely that the other spouse is negligent in all of them. Spite and revenge are often the motivating factor behind many child custody battles, unfortunately, and usually both parents are more or less equally capable of caring for their children. Rarely, it is worth it to pursue fault and spend more money on a divorce in terms of child custody issues.

Divorce Lawyer Troy MI Shatzman & Shatzman provides legal representation in divorce cases. Our divorce lawyer in Troy, MI can clarify and help you to understand all the issues involved in no-fault divorce, including litigating fault in certain cases that require it. Visit us online or call us today for a free consultation: 586-771-7587 or 248-601-1698