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Does Michigan Treat Same-Sex Divorce Differently?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce |

If you are a same-sex couple who wants to get divorced in Michigan, you may have some questions about how the law applies to your situation. Since 2014, same-sex divorces and marriages have been treated the same as opposite-sex.

No-fault Divorce

Like most other states, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you do not have to prove any wrongdoing by your spouse to get a divorce.

However, fault can still play a role in determining how the court will divide your marital property, award spousal support, allocate parenting time, etc.

Marital property is any property that you acquired during your marriage, regardless of whose name is on it. The court will divide it equitably. This means fairly, not equally.

The court will consider various factors, such as the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, the needs of each spouse and the conduct of each spouse.

Child Custody And Parenting Time

Child custody and parenting time are issues that affect same-sex couples who have children together. Our state breaks down custody into legal and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about the child’s welfare, such as education, health care and religion.

Conversely, physical custody refers to where your child lives.

The court decides custody and parenting time based on the best interests of the child. The court considers many factors, such as the emotional ties between the child and each parent, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs, the stability of each parent’s home environment and the preference of the child if they are old enough.

Same-sex Parenting

One question that may arise for same-sex couples is whether both spouses are legal parents of the child. In Michigan, if a child is born during a marriage, both spouses are presumed to be legal parents. This applies to same-sex marriages as well.

However, this presumption can be challenged by a third party who claims to be a biological parent or by one of the spouses who denies being a parent.

Complications arise when one spouse is the biological parent and the other is not. In these situations, the non-biological parent must adopt the child in order to have full legal parenting rights.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, same-sex divorce in Michigan is governed by the same laws and principles as opposite-sex divorce. However, there may be some unique challenges or complications for same-sex couples who want to end their marriage.