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Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Relationships in Michigan

Michigan law makes distinctions between non-marital relationships (such as partnerships without marriage ) and marriage relationships, with key differences noted below:

Legal Recognition

Marriage in Michigan: Marriage is a legally recognized union between two people involving an event and registration with the state. Married couples gain certain legal rights and responsibilities, such as support payments, inheritance rights, and medical decision-making authority as part of this legal recognition.

Property Rights

Marriage: In Michigan, spouses who enter into marriage receive certain property rights upon union; these include joint ownership rights to own property jointly, the ability to inherit assets equally in case of death without wills in effect, as well as equitable division upon divorce.

Legal Protections

Marriage: Michigan couples are entitled to various legal protections when marrying one another, such as spousal support in case of divorce and making medical decisions for incapacitated partners, as well as survivorship rights such as collecting benefits from an estate of deceased partners.

Children and Parental Rights

Marriage: In Michigan, marriage establishes legal parentage of any children born during a marriage between spouses—thus, both parties are presumed legal parents for that child/ren born during the said union. Married couples also assume automatic rights and responsibilities associated with parenting rights, such as custody/visitation agreements/obligations and child support obligations for any such children born of said union.

Legal Formalities

Marriage in Michigan involves various legal formalities, such as obtaining a marriage license, solemnizing your union before an officiant, and registering it with the state.

As previously discussed, Michigan law distinguishes between partnerships without marriage and marriage regarding legal recognition, property rights, protections and formalities.

While partnerships offer greater freedom and autonomy than marriage does under Michigan law, neither type of arrangement provides all of these benefits or rights for protection and rights for each partner involved. It is always up to you to decide which one you will choose.



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