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SEPARATION IN MICHIGAN
As a Michigan divorce law office, we are frequently asked about a "legal separation".
- In the State of Michigan we do not have anything that is specifically called a legal separation where you file a paper and you are immediately legally separated, nor are you required to be separated to file for a Michigan divorce.
- You are NOT required to be legally separated prior to filing for a divorce, or prior to the entry of the final Judgment of Divorce in Michigan.
- Michigan law does provide for a Separate Maintenance Action, which is the action many people think of, when they are thinking about a legal separation in Michigan.
SEPARATE MAINTENANCE ACTION
A "Separate Maintenance" action is basically what most people think of when they mean a legal separation in Michigan.
The procedure for obtaining a Judgment of Separate Maintenance in Michigan is practically the same as the procedure for a divorce (see our divorce page), but when a Judgment of Separate Maintenance is entered you are divorced from everything except the bounds of matrimony.
- So, if you have a Judgment of Separate Maintenance in Michigan rather than a Judgment of Divorce, you cannot remarry.
- If you receive a Judgment of Separate Maintenance in Michigan and then late decide you do want a divorce, you will need to start a new case for a divorce.
- Generally the terms of your Judgment of Separate Maintenance will be transferred into the new Judgment of Divorce.
REASONS FOR PURSUING A SEPARATE MAINTENANCE ACTION INSTEAD OF A DIVORCE
In the State of Michigan, most people who decided to pursue a Judgment of Separate Maintenance, rather than a Michigan Divorce, do so for religious, health care or immigration reasons.
For example, if in certain circumstances one may be ex-communicated from their church if they were to divorce, so they may choose use the Separate Maintenance procedure instead of a Michigan Divorce.
Another example is if one has health concerns and requires continuing medical insurance, but if they divorced their insurance would terminate, they may use the Separate Maintenance procedure to be able to continue on their spouse’s health insurance. Although, it is becoming more frequent that employers are considering a Separate Maintenance Judgment to have the same terminating effect as a Michigan Divorce with respect to health care benefits.
There may be an immigration situation where one spouse has brought the other spouse to the United States and the second spouse's status in the United States is dependant upon being married to the first spouse.
LET US HELP YOU
The above is not intended to be legal advice and is only a brief overview of this area of law. If you have any questions regarding your divorce matter, contact us today. A seasoned Michigan separate maintenance and family law lawyer will discuss your legal needs and provide you with information to protecting you and your family – for years to come.
There is no charge for your initial phone consultation.
Representing divorce and family law clients in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties.
ATTORNEY ELLEN PAYNTER
West Bloomfield Main Office
Troy Satellite Office
Monday through Friday
****The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.****
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