Legal separation in Michigan

There are three types of legal separation in Michigan.

The first type of legal separation in Michigan is called a Separate Maintenance Agreement. A Separate Maintenance Agreement is similar to a divorce. One party files a Complaint for Separate Maintenance with the court. Unlike a divorce were the court ends the marriage with a Judgment of Divorce. A Separate Maintenance Agreement does not end a marriage although it is similar to a divorce in many ways.  For example, a Separate Maintenance Agreement makes a division of property, division of debt, alimony, custody and child support.

The second type of legal separation in Michigan is called a post-nuptial agreement. A post-nuptial agreement is similar to a pre-nuptial agreement, but is entered into after marriage. A key advantage of a post-nuptial agreement is the ability to remain on your spouse’s health insurance which may not be possible in a Separate Maintenance Agreement.

The third type of legal separation in Michigan is simply a private separation agreement. In a private separation agreement there is no court involvement. Simply, the parties agree to live separately. However, unlike a Separate Maintenance Agreement or a post-nuptial agreement, a private separation agreement is not enforceable in a court. Therefore, if one party decides to no longer follow the agreement, you are out of luck.

The Allard v. Allard problem:  A recent decision from the Michigan Supreme Court, may impact the pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.  In simple terms, the court can still use its “equitable” powers in circumstances where a party is left with nothing in an agreement.

How the Allard III case killed pre and post-nuptial agreements.

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Legal separation in Michigan
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Legal separation in Michigan
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There are three types of legal separation in Michigan.
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Findling Law, PLC
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