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Can I charge my spouse with adultery in Michigan?

Adultery is still a felony in the State of Michigan. Adultery is defined as "sexual intercourse of 2 persons, either of whom is married to a third person" in MCL 750.29. Adultery is also still considered a felony in the State of Michigan, MCL 750.30 states "Punishment—Any person who shall commit adultery shall be guilty of a felony; and when the crime is committed between a married woman and a man who is unmarried, the man shall be guilty of adultery, and liable to the same punishment."

HOWEVER, adultery is almost never prosecuted in the State of Michigan, for the reason that if it were prosecuted on a regular basis, the jails would quickly run out of room!

It is a common threat from an angry or hurt spouse that they will be "pressing charges for adultery", but that threat is pretty empty. While a spouse can certainly file a report on adultery, a prosecutor is the only one that can actually charge someone with a crime. Prosecutors will not waste their time with an adultery report when criminal cases are already backed up.

So what can you do? If your spouse has committed adultery, you can certainly file for divorce. While statute does allow courts to consider if one spouse has committed adultery in a property distribution case, in practice, it is rarely applied as adultery is so common.

If you’re a victim of adultery and ready to find out what your separation options are, Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in the counties of Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Van Buren and St. Joseph, call today for a consultation. 269-381-4471


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