No, but this is a very interesting question. At its most basic level, marriage is a binding contractual relationship between a man and a woman. All of the elements of a valid contract exist, those being Offer (“Will you marry me?”), Acceptance (“YES!!”), and Mutual Consideration (merging of assets and debts etc.). Marriage is regulated by law and the state imposes restrictions on the capacity to enter into the contract and dissolve the contract. The intent is to make marriage permanent without doing injustice to the parties. So why isn’t filing for a divorce considered a Breach of Contract? The answer is that the law was developed over generations of time as a means of managing and balancing societal needs (the need to encourage family stability vs. the need to allow people to legally end bad marriages). Therefore, the contract, once made, can be dissolved only by a Judgment. In other words, the government has created an exception that allows people to legally “Breach” the marriage contract by filing for Divorce. The concepts of marriage and divorce are much more complex than this, so if you have more questions regarding the nuts and bolts of family law, call me. I can help answer your questions.06
Michael Olson is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.