How is Legal Separation Determined in Michigan?

Because you decide to leave home and physically separate from your spouse does not mean you are “legally separated” under Michigan law. 

For a couple to be “legally separated” under Michigan law, one spouse must file a request or a complaint about Separate Maintenance.  The other spouse must agree to the legal separation proceedings; if the other spouse does not agree and prefers to be divorced, the court undoubtedly will grant the divorce over a legal separation. 

All issues considered in a divorce action are considered within legal separation proceedings, including custody, parenting time, child support, property division, and spousal support.  The main difference between a divorce and legal separation is that when you are divorced, your marriage is legally over, and perhaps more importantly, you are free to marry someone else.  If you are only legally separated, your marriage has not been dissolved, and you are still technically married but only “legally separated.” To marry another person, you must first obtain an absolute divorce.  Converting a legal separation to an absolute divorce may mean starting a new action. However, it may be possible to file a simple motion with the court of appropriate jurisdiction asking the court to convert the Judgment of Separate Maintenance to an absolute Judgment of Divorce.  Which way you proceed entirely depends upon what your Judgment of Separate Maintenance indicates.    

A person might want to have a separate maintenance agreement but remain married for several reasons, such as being able to stay on a spouse's health insurance or religious concerns.

If you're looking for legal representation for your case, contact the team at Gerkin & Decker today. We have skilled lawyers ready to handle your case. Contact us today for a consultation!”


Things to Consider Before Moving Out in a Divorce

Quarrels and misunderstandings may lead to divorce. The action may bring negative and positive consequences for both divorcees. Also, unfaithful and cheating behaviors may result in the collapse of marriage. Leaving each other after a divorce is a...

Who Gets the House in a Divorce?

When couples divorce, they have a lot of questions. It doesn't help that many of those questions don't have easy answers. The home is typically the most valuable object that two people can share together, so the stakes are high. Plus,...

Top 3 Mistakes Men Make in Divorce

No one goes into a marriage expecting divorce; divorce, however, is a process that tests people and their limits, and it’s difficult to navigate with a calm head. If you find yourself going down this road, do yourself two favors:...

Rights for Fathers Seeking Full Custody

Generally, a father has the same right to full custody of a child as the child’s mother. Men technically don’t face greater challenges when trying to achieve full custody. However, the man has historically been the...

Can a Signed Settlement Agreement Not Be Enforced?

A signed settlement agreement is a powerful document requiring the demonstration of an extreme condition to render it null and void. If a party wishes to withdraw from the settlement, they must prove fraud, duress, coercion, or unconscionability....

How to Request a Change to Your Custody Agreement

If your current custody agreement isn't working for you, you may be wondering about making changes to the custody agreement. However, unless you and your ex-spouse agree to the changes and both agree to modify the agreement, you must go through...

What Should Men Do to Prepare for Divorce?

While no one enters a marriage thinking it’ll end, the sad fact is that many marriages will not succeed, and many men will experience the pain and stress of a divorce at some point. While the emotional impact can be immediate and...

How Does a Prenuptial Agreement Affect a Divorce?

Over the years, a fair amount of negativity has been associated with prenuptial agreements. When family members learn that their loved one has been asked to sign an agreement before marriage, they often see that as a red flag and quickly turn...

3 Tips for a More Amicable Divorce

Divorce is often contentious, but it doesn’t always have to be. At Gerkin & Decker, PC., We specialize in working with men during the divorce process, and we have extensive experience handling all aspects of divorce, including alimony,...

What Rights Do Non-Custodial Parents Have?

Divorce is always difficult. When a divorce involves children, it hurts not only the children but also has a significant emotional impact on the parents. When children are involved, courts make custody decisions based on various factors. Judges...

How Can I Appeal a Custody Decision?

Child custody cases are tough on families. There’s so much at stake, and when one party doesn’t agree with the court's decision, they often wonder if they have any options. Michigan law allows chief circuit court judges to appoint a domestic...
Page: 12 - All
Before you take action, speak with an experienced divorce attorney
Request a Confidential Consultation
* Indicates required questions
Name *
Email *
Phone # *
Briefly Describe Your Situation *
Preferred Method of Communication
Telephone Email
The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.