Legal Separation in Michigan

If divorce has crossed your mind but you are not ready to file, you may want to consider legal separation. Deciding to stay or leave takes courage. Legal separation in Michigan can be as simple as a private agreement to separate to a legally enforceable document.


Legal Separation in Michigan – the options.

There are three ways to legally separate in Michigan.

  1. A private separation agreement;
  2. A separate maintenance agreement; and
  3. A post-nuptial agreement.

A private separation agreement is simply the decision by a couple to separate. There are no legal documents, filings or court proceedings. It is your way to have a trial divorce. However, a private legal separation agreement in Michigan is not enforceable in court.

A separate maintenance agreement is enforceable in court. Like a divorce, one party files a Complaint for separate maintenance which is similar to a Complaint for divorce without the divorce. A Michigan legal separation filed as a separate maintenance agreement may include the division of property, alimony, child support and a custody determination without a divorce. However, like a divorce, a separate maintenance agreement is filed with the court with a public record.

The third type of legal separation in Michigan is a post-nuptial agreement. Unlike a private agreement which is not enforceable in court or the public record of a separate maintenance agreement or divorce, a post-nuptial agreement remains private. A post-nuptial agreement requires the filing of a divorce, the signing of the agreement and the dismissal of the divorce. The agreement remains private, with no public record of the terms.

If you are considering legal separation in Michigan we would be happy to discuss the three alternatives and help you choose the right fit.

About Findling Law

Findling Law, PLC – 414 W. 5th St. Royal Oak, Michigan 48067

Phone:+1 (248) 399-3300
After hours emergency?+1 (707) 968-7347


I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades.  The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

By:  Daniel Findling

Legal Separation in Michigan

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