For couples who no longer wish to be joined financially or share a household, but do not wish to go through a divorce, there is a legal option available. While there is no concept of “legal separation” in Michigan, separate maintenance allows husbands and wives to unwind their finances and gain a sense of independence while maintaining their legal marriage.
SEPARATION AGREEMENT ATTORNEY FOR ROYAL OAK, DETROIT AND SURROUNDING AREA
I have dedicated my career as a lawyer to helping couples resolve these important issues and have extensive experience with separate maintenance. I work collaboratively to arrange a temporary or long-term separation by making appropriate and fair financial arrangements to allow them to maintain separate households. In some cases, actually dividing property and establishing child support or spousal support can also be accomplished through separate maintenance.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SEPARATE MAINTENANCE AND DIVORCE
Separate maintenance mirrors divorce in terms of procedures for support and property division but does have some important distinctions. After receiving a judgment of separate maintenance the parties are still legally married. This is important because of the effect it has on issues such as inheritance and Social Security benefits.
REASONS FOR SEPARATE MAINTENANCE
Why not divorce? For many, the thought of getting a divorce is uncomfortable for religious reasons. Before insurance companies began changing their rules, many couples remained married in order to qualify for health insurance on their on their spouse’s policy, although cutbacks in health insurance has made it difficult or impossible to achieve this goal long-term through the mechanism of separate maintenance. One of the most common reasons people pursue separate maintenance today is to protect their finances within their marriage when a spouse is being reckless financially.