Michigan is known as a “no fault” divorce state. That means that individuals do not have to plead cruelty, adultery, or any of the other historic “fault” grounds for divorce that were once required in some American jurisdictions. Rather, they only have to claim that their marriage is broken and that it cannot be fixed.
Some readers may have the wrong assumption that a no fault divorce is a divorce without conflict. This is not necessarily true. While the parties to a marriage may both want to end their relationship, they may have very different beliefs about how their property, child custody, and financial affairs should be settled once they are both single.
No fault divorces can be contested, and this post will discuss some of the ways that Michigan residents may run into conflict when they proceed through their own divorces. This post does not provide legal advice and all questions about divorce should be directed to trusted family law attorneys.
Understanding a contested divorce
A contested divorce is not necessarily one in which one of the parties wants to stay married. While this element may be involved in a contested divorce, the term more generally means that there is some type of conflict in the resolution of the parties’ divorce. For example, if the parties cannot agree about the payment or receipt of spousal support, also called alimony, then the divorce will be considered contested because of the lack of complete agreement on all divorce terms.
Achieving an uncontested divorce
On the other side of the spectrum from a contested divorce is an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces happen between parties that have full agreement on all of their divorce-related issues. It is important that readers understand that it may not benefit divorce parties to have uncontested divorces. Individuals can fight for their rights and needs when they end their marriages, and they do not have to concede simply to avoid conflict. Divorce attorneys can help their clients understand what they must do to be successful in their divorces and advocate for the men and women that they represent.