Traverse City, Michigan Divorce Lawyer Jeanne Hannah


Michigan is known as a "no fault" divorce state. Sometimes the words "no fault" are misleading. If the parties can agree between themselves on a final settlement on all issues, fault may not be a factor. In other words, even if one spouse is at fault, a party may not hold that fault against the other and may agree to an equal division of the assets. On the other hand, knowing that at trial the judge can take fault into consideration and skew the property settlement in favor of the party who was not at fault, can make an innocent spouse hold out for a larger share of the assets.

Fault may be very much at issue if there is a dispute about alimony, property, child support, parenting time or custody. You will want to discuss how fault may factor into your divorce.

The basis for divorce is Michigan is governed by a statute and the single grounds for a divorce is this: "There has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved." Most judges don't require the parties to provide details, and may require only a recital of this assertion.

Legal Separation

In Michigan, if parties do not want a divorce, but wish to live apart, they can ask the court for a legal separation that is known as "separate maintenance." In a separate maintenance action, the parties' assets are divided. Spousal support may be awarded. If there are minor children, the issues of custody and child support will be included. So, this is similar to a divorce, except that the parties remain married and neither may remarry.


Rarely, people seek an annulment in Michigan. An annulment invalidates a marriage. Each case is dependent upon its unique facts. Some marriages may be void from the start. Other may only be voidable. The grounds for an annulment are governed by statute and include incapacity to marry, such as insanity, bigamy, under age, or any type of fraud that goes to the heart of the marriage. A party seeking an annulment must not cohabitate with the other party after having discovered the grounds for the annulment of the marriage.

Ask a divorce lawyer if you have any questions about separate maintenance or annulment. You can learn more about some of the issues that will be decided in divorce cases, and in some cases, where the proceeding is for a judgment of separate maintenance or for an annulment. Click on the hyperlinks on the left margin to learn more about basic family law FAQs, divorce, temporary orders, child custody and support, spousal support, property settlement, separate property, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements, paternity issue, post-judgment modifications and more.


To learn more about how you should choose a family law attorney, see this article: CHOOSING THE RIGHT DIVORCE LAWYER By Jeanne M. Hannah.

To schedule an initial meeting with divorce lawyer Jeanne Hannah or just ask a question, call or send an e-mail today.

Contact Traverse City, Michigan divorce lawyer, Jeanne Hannah at 231-275-5600  E-mail child support lawyer Jeanne Hannah.

Family lawyer Jeanne Hannah serves clients throughout Michigan, including Traverse City, Kalkaska, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Beulah, Cadillac, Bellaire, Grand Traverse County, Kalkaska County, Emmet County, Benzie County, Antrim County, and Charlevoix County. 2005 Jeanne M. Hannah

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Jeanne M. Hannah, Family Lawyer
Postal address:5922 Deer Trail Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49684 E-mail: jeannemhannah [at]

Practice Areas: Divorce  Custody  Parenting Time  Child Support Post-Judgment Modifications  Paternity  Adoption  Personal Protection Orders  Spousal Support  Property Distribution  Pre-Nuptial / Post-Nuptial Agreements Estate Planning Guardianships/Conservatorships  Neglect/Abuse Cases 

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Send mail to jeannemhannah [at] with questions or comments about this web site.

Copyright 2005 Jeanne M. Hannah. All rights reserved. Last updated November 2009

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