In some instances, couples who cannot reconcile their marriage seek a legal separation in Michigan. A legal separation in Michigan is much like a divorce, except the couple remains married after the process. After the legal separation, the couple will generally no longer live together and their assets, property and children will be distributed according to the judge’s ruling.
Many couples ask why they would seek a legal separation instead of a divorce. Generally, couples who pursue a legal separation in Michigan do so because of religious, medical and immigration issues. For instance, one party may find themselves ex-communicated from their church after a divorce, while health insurance and legal residence will also be terminated at the conclusion of a divorce. In other words, a legal separation in Michigan still allows the ex-husband or wife full access to the health insurance or legal residence rights that they otherwise could not obtain on their own.
What you Need to Know About Legal Separation in Michigan
First, it’s important to note that you do not need to be legally separated prior to filing for a divorce in Michigan. Also, you do not have to prove any grounds to obtain a legal separation in Michigan, you just have to prove the marriage is not working and you and your spouse cannot reconcile the marriage.
Next, to legally separate from your spouse, you have to file for a Separate Maintenance Action. A Separate Maintenance Action is the procedure couples must go through to legally separate. It’s similar to a divorce in the sense that it has to be filed in the Michigan courts, and the couple will also have to decide how to distribute property, assets, money, debt and children. However, at the conclusion of the Separate Maintenance Action hearing, the couple is legally separated, and their assets and children are distributed according to the judge’s verdict, but they still remain married.
It’s very important to realize that after a judgment of Separate Maintenance Action, the two parties cannot remarry. Plus, if at a later date the two parties want to file for a divorce, they must start at the very beginning of the entire divorce process. But in some instances, a legal separation may be the proper avenue for you and your spouse so that health insurance, residence rights, religious affiliation and debt can be maintained.
Legal Separation Laws In Michigan
To discuss the possibility of legal separation and the effects it will have on your family, contact the Michigan family law attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law today. As skilled divorce attorneys in Detroit, Nessel and Kessel Law make it their top-priority to assist clients through the most difficult times of a legal separation and to also minimize the negative effects it can have on both you and your family’s future.