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Appeals court says commitment ceremony not a marriage


LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Court of Appeals says a commitment ceremony does not equal a marriage.

An ex-husband sued to end an expensive spousal support order after his ex-wife invited family and friends to a commitment ceremony with her new partner. He said that is effectively a marriage, and he should be allowed to stop making support payments.

The ex-husband won in a lower court. But the appeals court reversed the decision, and said a marriage in Michigan requires a ceremony, witnesses, and a certificate filed with a county clerk.

Kevin Gentry is the ex-wife’s attorney.

“Michigan law is very clear on what a marriage is, and if it’s not that, it’s not a marriage.”

Gentry says the divorce settlement was carefully negotiated, and everybody agreed to it.

As the losing party, the ex-husband could appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.