Although Michigan is a no-fault state for divorce, there are times where the Court will look at that issue in deciding a property settlement. What happens when one spouse has a gambling problem and has spent most of the couples savings or assets, or has incurred debt associated with this issue? Can the Court consider this in making an equitable division of property?
A Court in Michigan recently did look at this issue in deciding on a division of property and also in an award of spousal support. In this case, the husband had depleted most of the couples retirement savings and other accounts. He also began to have problems with providing daily support and financial contributions to regular marrital expenses. The Court ruled that this consideration was proper where his fault resulted in a dissipation of assets. The husband, however, argued that the Court was looking at this incorrectly and punishing him for a behavior that they did not like. He stated that this was no different that someone spending money on hobbies or other interests. It was his position that the choice to spend marrital assets as he saw fit was his choice. The Court, however, disagreed, when it directly affected the marrital estate and the ability to provide for his wife after a lengthy marriage. The Court determined that the wife was entitled to continue a life style based on what had been established regardless of the husbands gambling losses or debts.
If you are facing a divorce and are concerned with property division or spousal support, fault can sometimes have an impact on the settlement. For a free consultation as to all issues, call the Law Office of Eugene Lumberg and Eric S. Lumberg. We will meet with you and discuss all of your options and rights.