Michigan Is No Fault for Divorce, But Misconduct is a Factor for Support and Property

Michigan divorce courts can consider misconduct such as adultery when deciding spousal support and property division.

Celeste worked for nearly six years doing administrative work at a local insurance company to pay the bills while her husband Bill studied full-time to get his bachelor’s degree in accounting -- all with the hopes that sacrifices she made now would pay off when it was her turn to pursue a college degree.

She felt absolutely betrayed when she discovered Bill was having an affair with another student in one of his classes -- ironically the final one he needed for graduation. When Celeste confronted him, Bill admitted he had been cheating on her for more than a year and he now wanted a divorce.

Read more: Michigan Is No Fault for Divorce, But Misconduct is a Factor for Support and Property

No Fault Divorce Law in Michigan Eliminates Misconduct Requirement for Divorce

No fault divorce in Michigan eliminates the requirement of proving misconduct to dissolve the marriage.

Sherri had struggled for nearly three years to keep her marriage with Dave intact, but it was time to throw in the towel. The couple had gone through phases of bitter arguments, attempted reconciliations and counseling, but the marriage was now punctuated by stretches of cold silence.

Neither Sherri nor Dave would say their spouse was a bad person -- they just were incompatible when it came to major decisions that affected them as a couple. They got married in a rush, riding the excitement of courtship. But it became obvious to family and friends, and finally to themselves, that the marriage was a mistake made by two very different people.

Read more: No Fault Divorce Law in Michigan Eliminates Misconduct Requirement for Divorce

Choose Well with Durable Power of Attorney-Finance

Older adults need to share details of their finances with children or agents who have Durable Power of Attorney-Financial to protect their estates in the case of a disability or illness.

Samuel had done a lot of things right to live comfortably in assisted living. He worked nearly 40 years at a steady job, saved something from every paycheck by living a bit below his means, and spent money prudently. Sam was proud of the fact that he and his wife, Shirley, raised three children in a tidy and comfortable home that was full of good times and family memories.

But Sam also could tell that he didn’t have the same grasp of personal finance that Shirley had, a situation that caused him some anxiety since she passed two years ago. Thanks to the sale of their home and frugal nature, the estate had reached the $750,000 mark with investments in mutual funds and an annuity that he didn’t understand fully. Even the basic routine of paying bills by check became something he loathed.

Read more: Choose Well with Durable Power of Attorney-Finance

Making Tough Choices for Healthcare and End-of-Life Treatment

An individual should consider carefully who he or she asks to act as Patient Advocate.

Joseph and Frances were in their late 70s and thoroughly enjoying retirement and good health, but they also were reminded from personal experience that they wouldn’t live forever. During the past 10 years, the married couple had visited family and friends who were hospitalized for various illnesses, and they had attended more than their fair share of funerals.

Joe had named Franny as his Patient Advocate through a Durable Power of Attorney-Healthcare, and vice versa for Franny, so they knew they were protected for any immediate needs. But Joe was beginning to notice that Franny had become uncertain with her day-to-day decision making. Joe wondered aloud if she could make medical decisions for him if necessary, and he seriously doubted whether she could truly “pull the plug” if he fell into a coma or vegetative state -- which was his wish.

Read more: Making Tough Choices for Healthcare and End-of-Life Treatment

Mike Toburen - Attorney at Law   

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Attorney Mike Toburen

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