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    Separate Maintenance Agreements

    Separate Maintenance Agreements in Michigan

    If you are opposed to getting a divorce, but you can no longer live together in your union for whatever reason, there is the option of a separate maintenance agreement in Michigan. The concept, in its simplest form, is this: You can get the divorce you need without being completely divorced from the benefits of marriage.

    What Is a Separate Maintenance Agreement in Michigan?

    When you get a divorce, the only way to reestablish that union is to get remarried. With a separate maintenance agreement, however, the divorce takes place while the couple remains legally married.

    This means that every matter that is dealt with in a typical divorce – property division, parenting time, child custody, spousal support, etc. – are all settled, but the couple is still considered married. The objects of matrimony are not destroyed.

    A separate maintenance agreement is not final, for those who may wish to change their mind in the future. At any time, one spouse can file to get an official divorce. The separate maintenance agreement will still be valid and accurate.

    Why would someone go through the divorce process and choose to remain married?

    Reasons Couples Choose a Separate Maintenance Agreement

    One of the most common reasons a couple files a separate maintenance agreement is to hang onto health insurance, particularly if one spouse is sick, unemployed, or retired. In an amicable divorce, and in lieu of any other type of quality health insurance, a couple may choose to file a separate maintenance agreement so they can live their separate lives but still allow the other person to take advantage of their benefits.

    The separate maintenance agreement for insurance purposes often happens in divorces for older couples. If you go through a full divorce you cannot, under Michigan law, keep your ex-spouse on your health insurance.

    Choosing a separate maintenance agreement to maintain healthcare does not come without speedbumps, however. Some insurance companies challenge these agreements and will not honor the insurance provisions if spouses are not living together.

    Extremely religious couples may also choose to file a separate maintenance agreement. A couple may no longer wish to be together, but they don’t want their split to be labeled as a divorce in the eyes of their religion, place of worship, or community. Some religions may explicitly forbid divorce, so a separate maintenance agreement gives a couple every element of a divorce without the official title of “divorced.”

    The Legalities of a Separate Maintenance Agreement in Michigan

    Separate maintenance agreements must be agreed to by both spouses. The judgment itself reads very much like a divorce judgment, particularly in the separate of finances. Taxes, for instance, are filed separately as single people or head of household with a designation of not married.

    It is always possible to choose to convert a separate maintenance agreement into a Michigan divorce. This often occurs when a spouse finally becomes eligible for Medicare and is now supported in terms of healthcare. The separate maintenance agreement can often be left in place. However, some courts require a divorce case to be filed.

    If you are interested in exploring a separate maintenance agreement in Michigan, work with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can guide you through the process and help you determine the best choices for your split.

    Every divorce is different, as is every separate maintenance agreement. Take advantage of the free initial consultation at Michigan Divorce Help, PLLC, divorce lawyers in Macomb County, to learn about your options and what’s ahead.

    Femminineo Law
    110 S Main St # 200
    Mt Clemens, MI 48043

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    Michigan Divorce Help Law