Legal Separation Lawyers In Royal Oak
MICHIGAN LEGAL SEPARATION/SEPARATE MAINTENANCE
Across the country, there are confusing legal terms used to describe two spouses living separately but not divorcing. There are also several misconceptions about the options at hand. At Friedman Law Firm, we can clarify the answers and the pinpoint the process – and then help you choose the route that is best for you.
In Michigan, instead of “legal separation,” we call it “separate maintenance.” It is exactly like legal separation, in which a husband and wife live apart from each other, and very similar to divorce, from a procedural standpoint. Separate maintenance legally recognizes spouses living on their own and dictates the division of property, debts, and assets. A Judgment of Separate Maintenance is virtually identical in every way to a divorce, requiring the same paperwork, the same grounds to be pleaded, and much the same process to be followed. Spousal support may also be ordered by the court.
The Differences Between Michigan Legal Separation & Divorce
A few major similarities and differences exist between separate maintenance and divorce in Michigan:
- Unlike divorce, separate maintenance requires both parties to agree on the arrangement.
- Under separate maintenance, the parties may not remarry. They are still by law married to one another.
- Separate maintenance can be ended, with the spouses resuming their marriage after (with hope) reconciliation.
- There is no waiting period for separate maintenance judgments. In families with no children under 18, divorces are granted after a 60-day waiting period. When minor children are involved, a 6-month waiting period must take place.
- As with divorce, under separate maintenance the court will give legal orders regarding custody, parenting time, and child support based on the best interests of the child.
Considerations Involved In Michigan Legal Separation
Friedman Law Firm can help you weigh the numerous considerations involved in Michigan legal separation. They include the following:
- Health Care
- Social Security
- Pension Benefits
In the best situations, spouses recognize a need to spend time apart, but have plans to work through their problems and reconcile. And although spouses can part ways without taking legal action and without a formal Judgment of Separate Maintenance, our sincere belief is that families fare best with the guidance of a legal team and formal, well-organized agreements in place. With so many crucial elements in play – finances, residences, insurance, custody, and more – our Friedman Law Firm attorneys can ensure that orders are enforced and understandings are upheld, regardless of the evolving situation.