Divorce Alternatives: Separation (Separate Maintenance) in Michigan

When two people have tried all they can to make a marriage work, and there are still inherent problems, options exist to end that marriage. Annulment, dissolution, or divorce legally end a marriage.

But there are other options between legally ending a marriage and remaining entwined. Separation, whether legally recognized or pursued as an informal arrangement, is an option with varying degrees of distance.

Divorce Alternatives: Separation (Separate Maintenance) in Michigan

What is Separate Maintenance?

There is no legal separation in Michigan. Instead, there is a court ruling known as “separate maintenance.” A separate maintenance has similar court proceedings as a divorce suit, but the marriage remains intact.  

The process for separate maintenance begins with one person or their representative files a motion with the courts. At least one member must prove residency. Residency means living in the state for 180 days and living in the county of the 10 previous days.

Expect a “cooling off” phase between filing and a judge ruling on your case. There is a mandatory waiting period is 30 days for couples without children, 180 days for those with children. Putting all financial and living arrangements in order during this time will make the court proceedings that much quicker. A judge will decide any unresolved issues.  

Why Get a Separate Maintenance?

Couples choose separate maintenance for many reasons. Many couples in this situation wish to live separately with their assets divided.

Some common reasons for a couple to pursue a separate maintenance include:

  • Religious beliefs
  • Family traditions
  • Tax, insurance, or retirement benefits

Explore Your Options with a Trial Separation

Some couples are not sure which is the right path for them, divorce or separate maintenance. For these people, a trial separation can be beneficial. In this case, the couple may live separately and may put their agreement in writing, but they do not involve the courts.

A Separation Agreement Puts Ideas into Writing  

A separation agreement is a legally binding written agreement for either divorce or separate maintenance. Many couples work together to resolve financial assets and child or spousal support.

Divorce and legal separation are challenges for all who go through it. FasTrack Divorce offers professional attention to make the process run as smoothly as possible. If you seek the legal help of a divorce attorney, contact Fast Track Divorce today.


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