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How Can Adultery or Infidelity Affect a Michigan Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce lawyer for affairs and infidelityThere are many reasons that married couples choose to get divorced, and infidelity is one of the most common issues that can lead to the breakdown of a relationship. Because the actions of a spouse who had an affair may be the primary reason for the end of the couple’s marriage, many people assume that this will play a role in the divorce process. However, this is not always the case, and in many divorces, infidelity does not affect the decisions made. If adultery is a reason that you are getting divorced, you will want to understand how it may be addressed during your case.

Grounds for Divorce

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. This means that when you or your spouse file a divorce petition, you will not need to give a reason for why your marriage is ending. The only legal grounds for divorce that are recognized is “irreconcilable differences.” Your divorce petition will simply make the claim that your marital relationship has broken down beyond repair, and there is no reasonable likelihood that you will be able to preserve the relationship.

Property Division, Spousal Support, and Child Custody

Infidelity may or may not be a factor in the decisions made during your divorce, and in many cases, this issue will only be raised if it has had a significant impact on your finances or your ability to care for your children. When determining how to divide your marital property, these decisions will be based on what is fair and equitable, and most of the time, a person cannot be denied an equitable share of their marital estate as punishment for having an affair. However, if a spouse dissipated marital assets during their marriage, such as by spending money to buy gifts for a lover, this issue may be addressed by awarding the other spouse a greater share of the marital property.

When determining whether to award spousal support/alimony, the court may consider a variety of factors, including the past relations and conduct of the spouses and whether either spouse was at fault for causing the divorce. While adultery will usually not be the sole reason why spousal support is or is not awarded, it may be considered along with other relevant factors.

In matters related to child custody, the primary goal will be to provide for children’s best interests, and decisions will be based on factors such as parents’ relationships with their children and their ability to provide for the children’s daily needs. However, one factor that may also be considered is the parents’ “moral fitness.” While an affair that took place in the past may not affect these matters, ongoing issues that affect children’s well-being may be considered, such as a parent being more focused on a new romantic relationship than on caring for their children.

Contact Our Farmington Hills Divorce Lawyers

At Elkouri Heath, PLC, we can answer your questions about divorce-related issues such as infidelity, and we can provide you with legal representation to help you achieve your goals during your case. Contact our Oakland County divorce attorneys today at 248-344-9700 to arrange your complimentary consultation.

Sources:

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(oxo4s141q3d350i1l2yl2k1l))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-552-6

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(xiirl3duikdibbtcn35d4r03))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-722-23

https://www.leagle.com/decision/inmico20120921438

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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