As the marriage rate declines, more people are making the decision to live together without the benefit of marriage. And many people believe if they have a long-term live-in situation with their significant other, they will be able to rely on common law marriage to seek division of mutual assets acquired during their relationship if their relationship ends. Unfortunately, if you are in a long-term live-in relationship in Michigan, and you wish to end that relationship, you may not be able to fall back on common law marriage to protect you.
The following information will aid you in determining if your union can be recognized in Michigan as a common law marriage.
Michigan abolished common law marriage in 1957. However, Michigan will recognize a common law marriage if the parties can prove they entered into a common law marriage in Michigan prior to 1957.
Michigan will recognize a common law marriage from another state if the parties can prove the union was established in a state that allows common law marriage, and that their union meets that state’s specific requirements for a common law marriage.
- If you wish for Michigan to recognize your union as a common law marriage, you will need to establish the following:
- You established your union in a state where common law marriages are still valid
- You established your union in Michigan before 1957
- You and your significant other meet the requirements for a common law marriage in the state in which you are claiming it was established
- You and your significant other lived together in the state where you claim the common law marriage was established
If Michigan recognizes your union as a valid common law marriage, then ending your union will require you to file for a divorce. Prior to filing your divorce, you will need to be a resident of Michigan for 180 days and lived in the county of filing for 10 days prior to the filing.
Divorce can be emotional and messy, and it’s natural for anyone going through a divorce to want to protect their financial interests. Maintaining an objective view of the situation can be difficult when you are struggling with complex emotional issues and personal tensions in your divorce. As an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer, Schmitt Law, PLLC can help you maintain control over your property in divorce, and against taking on responsibility of debt that may not be marital. We will provide detailed guidance and support throughout every step of the process. The right attorney can increase the likelihood of you securing a favorable outcome to property and debt division in your divorce.
Laurie Schmitt of Schmitt Law, PLLC has years of experience representing clients in a wide range of difficult divorce cases. We understand the financial concerns our clients often have regarding their property ownership rights and the doubts they often experience when it comes to property division in divorce.
If you are seeking a divorce, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Contact Schmitt Law, PLLC online or by calling (616) 608-4634 for a consultation today. Our office is located at 401 Hall Street SW, Suite 112D, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.