Skip to Content

Separate Maintenance in Michigan Family Law


In our practice, we have experienced some clients want Separate Maintenance over a Divorce of Annulment.

There are people with a lot of different questions about getting a divorce in Michigan. We, at Haque Legal, have always answered questions per topic and aim to continuously do so when we can. 

However, there are some questions, basic as they are, that people commonly ask that we cannot lump into a category. In this article, let us continue our discussion on some of the common lingering questions that people have about getting divorced in Michigan.

In the first part of our article series, we have discussed the concept of separate maintenance and there are a lot of other questions that you may have about it. Let us answer some of these questions here.

What is the difference between getting separate maintenance and getting a divorce?

There is a difference between getting nearly separate maintenance from your spouse to getting a divorce. One of the main differences is that you are still technically married when you only get separate maintenance from your spouse while a divorce necessarily erases the fact that you are married as well as all of the rights that come with the marriage.

In getting separate maintenance you are required by the court to go through the process of talking to each other and discussing all of the matters as if you were getting a divorce. In separate maintenance, it is required that you show the judge that the marriage has not yet broken down to the point that you are not talking to each other. We always tell our clients that they must remain, friends, if they decide to only get separate maintenance.

On the other hand, getting a divorce is somewhat more difficult in the state of Michigan compared to getting separate maintenance. If the couple had already reached that point where they can talk to each other or discuss the marriage it is on the part of the judge who would make a decision and terms of the terms of the divorce as well as the aspects of their life after the finalization of the divorce.

While the courts may also intervene in the case of separate maintenance the intervention need not be as complicated as it is in the case of a divorce.

Can we just get legally separated and not separate maintenance?

In the state of Michigan getting separate maintenance is much like the concept of getting legally separated. However, the concept of legal separation does not exist in any of the legislation in the state of Michigan.

What happens to children born after the separate maintenance?

In some instances, some couples decide on just getting separate maintenance but also allow the other party to date. The limitation is that the other party cannot get married and may only go out on dates. The question that arises from this is what happens to children who are born after getting a degree of separate maintenance? It depends.

Children who are born from the male ex-spouse will not be legally assumed to be the child of a female spouse. However, children who are born from the wife are assumed to be the child of the husband even if someone else is the biological father. This presumption is hard to overcome and can be very expensive and difficult.

We have handled some cases where our client is the father of the child and the mother is one who has been in the situation of separate maintenance. Spending money on legal help and representation is one thing about spending money on DNA testing and filing the petition in court for paternity is another process that is hard to handle not just on the part of the lawyers but also on the part of the father.

What happens to children born before the separate maintenance and adopted by one of the spouses?

In some situations, the complicated issue would arise when one spouse has a biological child that does not belong to the other but is already legally adopted by the other spouse. In some child support cases that we have handled when the marriage has already broken down the other spouse is no longer willing to shoulder the child support of the child or children that do not belong to him or her. In this case, the court would intervene and the judge would decide to grant child support to the child. 

In some cases that we have handled the other party would often no longer want to pay child support for the child that does not belong to him. While this is emotionally understandable, the fact is that once you have adopted the child she is your child and is entitled to the same child support that your biological children would receive.

Here at Haque Legal, we want to be fair and say that as long as you have adopted the child, you can no longer claim that the child is not entitled to child support. No matter how bad the divorce or separate maintenance is. 

Let Haque Legal Help You With Your Divorce

Now that you know some facts about dealing with divorce, it is time to get down to it. If you require a lawyer who can assist you with ensuring that you protect your rights to your property, it is important to know that you also have a team that can help you out with your specific needs. 

Our law firm is dedicated to making sure that those who are innocent will be protected by the law and the full extent of justice will be used.


The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

Let us help you out.

If you need a lawyer to help you during your divorce proceedings as well as your separate maintenance proceedings, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.

Share To:


Contact Our Legal Team Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy