Lansing, MI asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Divorce and Family Law for Michigan

Q: With no fault divorce thus no crime; how is it that Alimony is awarded since the Michigan Constitution bans slavery.

Given that the state of Michigan does not allow for slavery except in the punishment of a crime and that no fault divorce is not a crime how does the Michigan supreme court fail to rule all Family Court Spousal Support claims and rulings as unconstitutional. Once a union is dissolved continued conversion of labor is slavery and unconstitutional. Suing for support where divorce is not a crime is also unconstitutional. Forcing signing settlements by threat of suing for increased spousal support is unconstitutional.

Article 9 Michigan Constitution:

9 Slavery and involuntary servitude.Sec. 9. Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state.

No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of wrongdoing by either party.




noun: slavery

1. the state of being a slave.

"thousands had been sold into slavery"


1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: I see that you are a student of the law; that's good.

By your logic, shouldn't wage garnishments in general be abolished? And in fact civil litigation between private individuals should be unconstitutional, no? After all, how is that you should be able to sue me and take my money just because I may have done a non-criminal act against you like breached a contract?

The answer to your inquiry is that while you're right in that Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, fault is a factor that a judge can consider under Michigan law in awarding spousal support. The bigger picture is that divorces are actions in equity, which has its roots in the days of early American jurisprudence. Contrast that to courts of law. Most non-lawyers (and even many lawyers) would have difficulty deciphering between the two; after all, it all looks the same. But have you ever wondered why when a divorce case goes to trial, it's before a judge and not a jury? Just some food for thought...but there is sound legal and public policy reasons that support the award and enforcement of spousal support; it is not so simply that the Michigan Supreme Court is turning a blind eye to the Constitution.

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