Married persons may choose to remain married but file an action for Separate Maintenance, Michigan’s form of legal separation. However, if after filing the Complaint for Separate Maintenance the Defendant files a Counterclaim for Divorce, then the result will be a Judgment of Divorce not Separate Maintenance. So long as one party wants a Divorce, that will be the end result in Michigan.
Two common reasons for filing a Separate Maintenance action are (1) religious objections to divorce and/or (2) continued health care coverage. However, many employers and health insurance providers now treat an action for separate maintenance as a triggering event disqualifying a nonemployee spouse from continued health insurance coverage, so it’s important to consult with an attorney.
At the conclusion of a Separate Maintenance action, the parties are still technically married, but the marital property may be divided and support may be ordered. Parties cannot get remarried until a Judgment of Divorce is granted and the marriage is legally dissolved, so it is important to consult with an attorney regarding your options and the best route to take in your situation.
We welcome you to contact our office to schedule your confidential consultation. Consultations can be scheduled during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on evenings and weekends upon request.