Is every divorce in Michigan an acrimonious one based on a specific act causing pain, regret or revenge? Not necessarily. Sometimes a couple simply grows apart or other unanticipated circumstances arise leading one or both spouses to decide that they are unhappy in their marriage and want a divorce. It is for this reason that Michigan recognizes “no-fault divorce.”

As the name implies, a no-fault divorce is one that is not based on the fault of either spouse. In Michigan, the spouse filing for divorce can base the filing on the grounds that there has been a “breakdown in the marriage relationship” and no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation exists to save the marriage. Basically, this means that all the spouse filing for divorce needs to show is that they no longer want to be married. There is generally a waiting period that must pass and residency requirements that must be met before a no-fault divorce will be granted.

Some states still retain fault-based grounds of divorce, such as adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, impotency or cruelty. However, Michigan no longer has the option for a spouse to claim fault as a basis of divorce in its statutes. That being said, misconduct or character may be considered when granting spousal support.

Ultimately, spouses seeking a divorce should not rely on this post for legal advice, as it is for informative purposes only. Filing for divorce can be complex, and many people in Michigan choose to seek professional legal advice before proceeding. With the right help, Michigan couples who want to end their marriage can do so in a smooth and amicable manner.