People divorce in Michigan for an assortment of different reasons. Some people file for divorce because they have grown apart over the years. Many others end their marriages because of specific types of misconduct. One spouse mistreats the other or cheats on them. They start abusing certain substances or hiding debt related to compulsive shopping or gambling. That untenable behavior may eventually prompt the other spouse to file for divorce.
No-fault divorces largely mean that those who feel wronged by their spouses have few options for justice in the Michigan family courts. In some scenarios, those divorcing over marital misconduct may want to consider going through mediation with their spouses as a way to reach a more appropriate settlement for the terms of the divorce.
How mediation helps address misconduct
For the most part, judges won’t give much weight to complaints of infidelity or other bad behavior from the spouses when dividing custody or marital property. No-fault laws force judges to set aside most complaints about marital misconduct unless there is evidence of it affecting the marital estate.
However, the spouses have the option of addressing those matters and how they influence what would be fair for the family during mediation. People don’t have to worry about damaging their reputation or their spouse’s standing in the local community because the details shared during mediation remain confidential.
They will have an opportunity to discuss how they think certain factors should influence the big decisions in their divorce without making those details, like alcohol abuse or compulsive shopping, part of the public record. Both parties may feel as though the outcome is more appropriate and fairer if they set the terms themselves instead of letting a judge make all of the major choices for their family.
Mediation can also be beneficial in divorces involving misconduct when people share children. The need to cooperate in mediation can serve as a starting point for rebuilding a healthier co-parenting relationship. Parents can practice better communication skills and learn how to keep the focus on their children instead of letting their emotions dictate their conduct.
Considering mediation as an option in a Michigan divorce may benefit those who feel as though their circumstances warrant special consideration.