Michigan Legal Separation Attorney
When spouses decide they want to end their relationship, but they don’t want to terminate their marriage, they can file for legal separation, or “separate maintenance,” as it is formally referred to in Michigan. The process of separate maintenance is almost identical to divorce, as the procedures for determining property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support are the same. The only difference is that the marriage is still intact at the end of separation proceedings. Couples may have a range of reasons for choosing not to terminate the marriage, such as health insurance needs, religious beliefs, or immigration issues.
After a separate maintenance judgment, the two spouses live individual lives in the same way they would after a divorce, except that they are not permitted to remarry because they are still legally married to one another. If the couple decides after some time that they want to get a divorce, they must begin a new divorce action. However, if neither party requests a change to the separate maintenance rulings, the court will often incorporate the terms of the separation into the divorce judgment.
Because couples are still married during a separation, they may be tempted to work out an arrangement on their own. If you and your spouse are considering a separation, you should avoid this temptation and seek legal counsel. While you and your spouse may agree on terms and conditions now, that may change in the future. Without a legal ruling to stand on, you will have no way holding your spouse to his or her end of the bargain.
Whether you’re just beginning to consider a legal separation, or you and your spouse are ready to begin the proceedings, contact Annette today!