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Being familiar with Michigan divorce law is a must when you contemplate on getting a divorce in Michigan. Reading and keeping up with Michigan divorce law updates are among the most challenging aspects of divorce that you will encounter. We know how taxing a task that is. To ease your already heavy burden, we have gathered the latest changes on Michigan divorce law that you would want to know about.

Important Michigan Law Updates

The instruction ‘sit, back, and relax’ is not applicable under the circumstances. Rather, ‘brace yourself’ is more fitting since the following information may be useful to your journey in getting a Michigan divorce that is as painless as possible.

  • Child Custody, Parenting Time

Under existing Michigan divorce laws, the following types of child custody may be granted: 1) Sole legal custody, 2) Sole physical custody, 3) Joint legal custody, and 4) Joint physical custody.

It is the court who determines custody using criteria provided by law. For instance, the Child Custody Act enumerates the factors that cater to the best interest of the child. Through Public Act 95 of 2016, such factors were amended to address domestic violence and sexual assault cases. The court will no longer evaluate negatively a parent for her effort in protecting a child from violence or assault by the other parent. This empowers individuals with abusive spouses to fight and protect themselves and their children, without the fear that it might tilt the awarding of child custody against their favor.

A similarly empowering Michigan divorce law is Public Act 96 of 2016. It prohibits a court from granting custody or parenting time to a biological parent who was convicted of criminal sexual conduct or had committed non-consensual acts of sexual penetration, as a result of which the child was conceived. An offending parent will only be entitled to custody upon the consent of the other parent or, in the latter’s absence, the guardian. Despite the prohibition, the offending parent is still liable for payment of child support.

  • Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

Act 255 of 2015 or the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is a crucial piece of legislation, particularly for couples with children undergoing the divorce process. As part of Michigan divorce law, the UIFSA harmonizes child support enforcement laws. It finds application in the following cases:

  1. You have been issued a Michigan support order and you will modify or enforce it in another state or foreign country.
  2. You reside in Michigan and you will modify or enforce a support order issued by another state or foreign country.
  3. Another state or foreign country has issued you a support order and you will modify or enforce it in Michigan.

In essence, the enactment of UIFSA eliminates the confusion caused by varying issuances of support orders by different courts of states and foreign countries. Only the state or country having continuing exclusive jurisdiction (CEJ) is authorized to change the support order. For your part, it means that after getting a divorce in Michigan, you can move with your children to a new state or country, wherever it takes for your family to start healing, without agonizing about the enforcement of child support.

  • Same-sex Divorce

An account of Michigan law updates will not be complete without the discussion of the impact of the controversial Obergefell vs Hodges ruling. Because of the pronouncements made in the Obergefell case, the marriages of all same-sex couples who have been legally married in or out of state are now recognized under both state and federal law.

The right to marry carries with it a correlative right to divorce. Prior to the said ruling, same-sex couples had no choice but to get a divorce in other states that recognize same-sex marriages other than Michigan. Often, it demands them to move out of state to comply with the other state’s residency requirement. As a result of the Obergefell doctrine, same-sex couples are spared from the hardships as they can now get a Michigan divorce.


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