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Legal Separation or Divorce?

Legal separation is a possibility for some married people considering a divorce.  In Michigan, a married man has two options (not counting annulment) when considering a separation.  He can either file for divorce or file for legal separation.  Legal separation does not mean separating prior to divorce. It means that you file a complaint for separate maintenance and proceed with a separate maintenance case.

A divorce and a separate maintenance case are the same in nearly every way, with one major difference.  At the conclusion of a divorce, you are, of course, divorced.  However, at the end of a separate maintenance case, you remain legally married.  The process, the time, and the issues are identical with both cases.  The only distinction is that with one case you separate your lives but remain legally married, and with a divorce you separate your lives and are divorced.

Why would someone go through an entire divorce process but then at the conclusion choose a judgment of separate maintenance and remain legally married?  One reason to choose to file for separate maintenance may be to maintain spouse-provided health insurance benefits after the separation process is complete.  Another reason to choose this option may be if, for religious reasons, you cannot be divorced but still need to separate your lives.

As with all legal matters, it is best to get proper legal advice from a licensed attorney concentrating in this field of law.  ADAM has attorneys ready to advise you regarding these issues.

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising when representing their clients. A team of compassionate and skilled family law attorneys, ADAM is dedicated to being Michigan’s leading divorce attorneys for men and practices a policy of integrity in all dealings.

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