In the United States today, every state allows for a no fault divorce, which means that one or both spouses can give any reason why their marriage is broken to start divorce proceedings. This is more convenient that older divorce laws which required a showing of specific forms of misconduct from at least one spouse such as adultery, impotence, mental incapacity, or desertion.

An Ingham County prosecutor was charged with crimes related to prostitution and his wife filed for divorce shortly afterward.

Prosecutor’s wife files for divorce after she learns he was visiting prostitutes

Prosecutor Dunnings was arraigned on several charges for pandering, soliciting the services of a prostitute, and neglect of his official duties. The Ingham County Sheriff’s Office along with the FBI had already been investigating these incidents as part of a human trafficking probe for over a year. The 63 year old defendant could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the most serious felonies out of the 15 charges.

His wife’s filing in the local circuit court claimed that the marriage had broken down, with no reasonable likelihood of their vows being restored. Her attorney stated that she learned of these accusations at the same time as the general public, and was shocked that he had committed such terrible acts. They had been married since 1977.

Grounds for no fault divorce

Many divorces do begin with significant discoveries of infidelity or serious financial problems. However, in the eyes of the law, any of these reasons or even more trivial concerns can become the grounds for divorcing someone. Michigan is a no fault divorce state. These divorce laws say that there can be any reason for a couple to get divorced as long as at least one spouse feels that the marriage is broken.

Statewide requirements

Before filing for a divorce, it is important to realize that Michigan has procedural requirements just like every other state, which must be met before the divorce can be finalized. Issues such as child support and custody need to be handled through a separate process during or after the divorce.

Residency has to be proven before a divorce can be filed in the state’s courts. In Michigan, at least one spouse must provide proof of residence in the state for 6 months and in the specific county where the papers are filed for at least ten days. The standard that the state uses to meet the burden for filing includes a breakdown of the marriage with no likelihood that the spouses will reconcile. While this specific language is used, the spouses can have any reasons why they no longer wish to be married. A lawyer will also need to draft formal documents related to the court hearing. This is when the divorce paperwork can be presented, and the divorce decree becomes legally valid once a judge signs it.

There are also alternatives to divorce allowed under Michigan law such as a legal separation or annulment, which may be beneficial to couples in certain situations.

Learn more about divorces

To find a divorce attorney in Ingham County or other parts of Michigan, you can browse the listings on usattorneys.com. You will find many experienced lawyers who can serve your needs, and most offer a free consultation to begin discussing your case.

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