Divorce Mediation | Divorce Mediator
Mediation’s Role In Legal Separation Cases
Legal separation is a situation where parties decide to end their relationship but choose not to divorce. Michigan attorneys and mediators are frequently asked about “legal separation.” The State of Michigan does not have an action called “legal separation” where spouses file a paper and are immediately legally separated. In Michigan, legal separation is referred to as “separate maintenance.”
Separate maintenance applies when the couple no longer lives together and the marriage is irreparably broken. In these situations, parties divide their assets and live separate lives, while leaving the marriage intact. A separate maintenance filing asks the court to divide the property and debts of the couple, and make determinations regarding child support, child custody and spousal support, without terminating the marriage. Spouses may choose to separate but preserve their marriage when religious or immigration issues are involved or so that one spouse can continue to keep the other spouse on health insurance. Separating but preserving the marriage also allows parties to continue to file a joint tax return.