Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that in order for the court to grant a divorce, you don't have to prove grounds for the divorce (such as adultery, abuse or other grounds. One must simply state that there has been a breakdown in the marriage and there is no likelihood of preserving the marriage. In the state of Michigan due to the "No-fault" laws, a person will be granted a divorce even if the other party contests the court granting a divorce.
Michigan Courts can take fault into consideration in determining custody, visitation, spousal support and property rights. In doing so, the Court will resolve all issues between the parties.
In Michigan, parties can also be legally separated. In a Legal Separation, the court will resolve all the issues in the same manner as a divorce. However the parties will remain legally married. It is important to note, even though you are legally married, you may have to file taxes separately and may not be allowed to remain on their spouses health insurance. It would be important to consult with an accountant for tax issues.
An Annulment is a judicial determination that a valid marriage did not occur. In Michigan in order to obtain an Annulment proper grounds for the Annulment must be proved. Grounds that are recognized in Michigan are Bigamy, Marriage prohibited by the relationship of the parties, Incompetence, Underage Marriages, Fraud and dress or Other grounds. Other grounds must have existed at the time of the marriage that are incurable and the party knew of the inability and failed to disclose it, such as inability to have children.
In Michigan, the Courts have authority to award custody, parenting time and support under the Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970, MCL 722.21 et seq. There are 2 types of Custody. Legal Custody, which allows the parent or parents to make decisions regarding the child, such as medical, schooling, and religious decisions. The Court can award Legal Custody to one party (Sole) or award Joint Legal Custody to both parents. Physical Custody is where the child resides, currently in Michigan, unless a party has no parenting time awarded, physical custody is considered joint. In making a determination for custody and parenting time, the court utilizes the Best Interest Factors.
The Factors are:
The Court uses these factors in determining both Legal and Physical custody.
Child Protection Laws are governed by MCL 722.621 et seq.; the Juvenile Code, MCL 712A.1 et seq.; and subchapter 3.900 of the Michigan Court Rules. Taken together, these sources of authority establish a comprehensive scheme for reporting cases of suspected abuse and neglect, investigating those reports, and responding, when necessary, with appropriate legal action.
Child Protective Proceedings deal with a variety of incidents and are very complex. I would encourage anyone dealing with a Neglect/Abuse Case to consult with and retain an attorney as the consequences can be severe including the termination of parental rights.