If you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) is the last thing you expect to happen. If you are married, you may think of divorce as a possible option. Before you take any action, though, it’s best to gather the facts on STDs and divorce. The experienced family law attorneys at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office have helped many couples resolve divorces involving cheating, and they may be able to help you also.
When your doctor informs you that you have an STD or sexually transmitted infection (STI) and you’ve been faithful to your partner, it may seem natural to assume that cheating is the only explanation. However, there are other possible reasons for your diagnosis. Some STDs can remain asymptomatic for a long time, meaning that the infected person has no symptoms. In other cases, an infection that was previously treated can reoccur. In these situations, it’s possible for one partner to contract an illness long before the relationship begins and pass it along to the other partner. If this occurs, your partner may not have betrayed your trust, but you probably should have an open discussion about both your sexual histories.
On the other hand, if you confirm that your spouse has been with another sexual partner, you should both seek STD testing immediately to protect your current and future health. In divorce cases where one spouse refuses to be tested, it is possible for the court to order testing. It’s important to discuss this possibility with a knowledgeable divorce attorney if you believe it is necessary in your case.
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means it is not necessary to prove infidelity or any other cause is directly to blame for ending your marriage. However, a judge may consider how the extra-marital relationship may have impacted you financially. For example, trips or gifts that your spouse paid for on behalf of another romantic partner, or medical costs associated with treating an STD, can be considered when dividing property and debts in a divorce.
It is against the law in Michigan to knowingly transmit an STD or STI to another person. If your spouse or partner concealed an STD, civil or even criminal penalties might apply.
Divorce is never easy, but when it involves infidelity, the split can be even more emotional and contentious. The Grand Rapids family law attorneys at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office understand how important it is to defend your interests during divorce. We rely on our extensive knowledge of Michigan’s family and criminal laws to build a customized legal strategy for each client and their goals.
If your marriage is headed toward divorce, contact our office today to discuss your specific situation and how we can help.
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