The Effects of Infidelity in Divorce Settlements in Michigan
Even though Michigan is a No-Fault Divorce State, infidelity in divorce can affect contested issues with property settlement, spousal support and child custody.
If this story sounds familiar, an expert divorce attorney can help sort out the divorce that could follow.
“I didn’t think it would ever happen to me,” he says. Tearfully, opening up about the affair he NEVER thought could happen in his marriage. “It started out innocent enough. I don’t even know how it became a full blown affair. But it was all there, the excitement of secret lunches and confessions of love. With the guilt that goes along with it.
She sat there feeling empty, lonely, vulnerable, and suspicious. Something wasn’t right. “Why would he lie about where he was?” she asked. It wasn’t that she didn’t love her husband, she did. But this had to be the end.
Michigan is a “No-Fault” State for Divorce
Because Michigan is a “no fault” state for divorce, either spouse may file for divorce if they allege “there has been a breakdown in 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.”
You do not have to prove “fault” in order to be granted a divorce in Michigan.
However, when it comes to Property Settlement, Spousal support and Child Custody, “fault” may be a contested issue. and infidelity in divorce can be considered fault if it can be proven.
Infidelity in divorce affects the negotiation phase of the process
Michigan Courts have ruled that if a party can prove fault of the other party in causing the breakdown of the marriage, the court may slightly skew the property settlement 55%-45% in favor of the non-offending party. However, just because an issue is contested, does not mean that it is a trump card that will sway a decision substantially in your favor or against your interests.
These decisions are VERY fact specific. Oftentimes, during negotiations, one parties guilt will cause them to surrender MORE than a court of law would actually order. Other times, because of the emotional charge caused by the infidelity, parties are unable to focus on the issues that must be either agreed upon or litigated.
If you have questions or concerns about proceeding with divorce, call Lakeshore Law and Mediation Center PLC for a free phone consultation at 616.844.4091.
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