Detroit is known for putting out some of the sleekest vehicles in the world. If your spouse is having a midlife crisis that calls for a new spouse instead of just a new car, then you probably need to understand the divorce laws in Michigan.
Michigan divorce laws – Alimony
Spousal support in Michigan is a bit of a mystery. Judges have to exercise a lot of discretion to order one spouse to make payments to the other. Factors that can be considered include the earning capacity of each spouse and their needs, as well as the couple’s standard of living during the marriage. Alimony is becoming less common but it does still happen.
Michigan divorce laws – Child custody and support
Judges go out of their way to make sure they are protecting children during the divorce process. The first issue to deal with is custody. One spouse could be given sole custody, meaning that parent makes all the major decisions about the child and the child also lives with that parent.
More commonly, however, the parents share joint custody. This typically includes having both parents share in the child’s major life decisions, like where to go do school. The child will also typically go back and forth between the two parents households in a shared physical custody arrangement.
Once custody is resolved the courts need to address support. The State of Michigan has created a child support calculator that will create a guideline. Judges can vary from the guideline, but it is a good estimate of what one parent is going to end up paying. Factors that play into the guidelines include the income of each spouse and the time the child spends with each spouse.
State of Michigan divorce laws – Grounds for divorce
Michigan has strictly limited its grounds for divorce to the no-fault basis of “a breakdown of the marriage relationship.” Fault grounds have been completely eliminated, and in fact people seeking a divorce are prohibited from disparaging their spouse by seeking a divorce for any reason other than the bland standard in the law. This is a big change from the days when one spouse would have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong before a divore could be granted.
Michigan divorce laws – Property division
When a couple gets divorced in Michigan or anywhere else, the court will usually split up the couple’s property. After all, the married couple owned property together and now that the marriage is ending each spouse needs to get their fair share. It is not that different than splitting up a business partnership. Typically, the couple will resolve the property dispute amicably. If they do not, the division of the property will be left up to a judge. This is a very costly endeavor that is usually only worth it if a couple has a large amount of assets.