Marital Separation in Michigan
Legal separation has always been that one last card you can pull from the back pocket saving marriages from becoming war fronts. But, what happens when you are from the state of Michigan where legal separation isn’t recognized by the law and the family courts?
In the state of Michigan, a couple may live separately having signed their own marital agreement separation, but under the Michigan laws, the two are still married. There are no legal limitations to separation agreements either.
What happens when you want to live separately?
While there is no Marital Separation Agreement in Michigan, there is an alternative that may be your only option if you are avoiding divorce – a separate maintenance.
What is a Separate Maintenance Agreement?
The Separate Maintenance refers to the legal proceeding you file in Michigan. Under this agreement, one spouse has to file for the separation maintenance. The other spouse may agree to what is filed under separation maintenance or if they don’t agree with that, make a counterclaim, asking for a divorce. In case a counterclaim for divorce is filed, it will be the first to be considered by the court.
On the other hand, you get the separate maintenance agreement. When both of you want the separation maintenance, then you have to decide on property and kids. All the cases surrounding property division, child custody, and child support are resolved through court hearings.
For property, the court divides property equitably – this division may not be equal. Also, each one of you may keep your inheritances or other property that may not be considered by the court.
Note that even after signing the separate maintenance agreement, your marriage remains legal and you can still file for a divorce later on. Also, once you have the separate maintenance agreement signed, you cannot marry another person, and you have to start over with a new case if you want to get a divorce later on.
Michigan, the no-fault state
You should understand that as a no-fault state in relation to marriage, any spouse that makes the charge requesting for separate maintenance doesn’t have to prove their case. On the other hand, the other spouse may agree to, or object the charge but also, he or she doesn’t have to prove any case.
Why a separate maintenance agreement?
Since you stay married after getting this agreement, what necessitates going to court over it?
For you to stay on your spouse’s health insurance
Religious issues/ concerns
Which is better, Separation agreement or a divorce?
Looking at these two legal proceedings, it is certain that the decision made solely relies on your personal preferences or beliefs. The separation maintenance agreement shows that you still care about each other, at least to a small extent while divorce often shows irreconcilable differences. But, whichever your reason, ensure that you get the best legal help.
Hopefully, this info has shed light on all you need to know about the separation. You should fill the above form and register with us to get a copy of your customized marital separation agreement.
Whether you live in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Clinton, Flint, Dearborn, Livonia or any other city of Michigan, you can use our legal forms easily.