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Separate Maintenance

What is separate maintenance?

Separate maintenance also known as legal separation is a legal process when a married couple may want to separate while still being legally married. A separate maintenance is granted through a court order, which can be in the form of a legally binding consent decree. The most common reasons why couples file for separate maintenance, is to make temporary financial arrangements, such as deciding who will pay bills, possession of property and whether alimony is appropriate, prior to a divorce. Read below where Experts have provided many legal answers pertaining separate maintenance questions.

When waiting for separate maintenance to be assigned by the judge, can someone go ahead and file for divorce or should they wait?

Normally separate maintenance is done as an alternative to divorce. It is not legally required to file a separate maintenance agreement prior to filing with divorce. The agreements are commonly used when both spouses wish to separate but want to still work out their differences. If they are unable to work out those differences, then the divorce may be filed. These agreements are included into the divorce settlement. They can file divorce at any time, but the terms of the agreement will be binding for six months.

When filing for a divorce will the date on the separate maintenance be used? Is the date on the divorce decree the same as the separate maintenance?

For legal reasons, the date on the separation in the agreement will be the official date of separation. If they have stated in the document the date of the separation, that date will also apply to the divorce. The final divorce decree will not issue until after they file for divorce. The time frame depends on many factors, including how crowded the court’s docket is, and how long it takes for them to reach a divorce settlement. In the separation agreement it can be included into the divorce settlement, assuming all are still in agreement. The date of the final divorce decree is dependent upon the court and when they can get the order entered.

Does the state of Florida have an action of separate maintenance?

The state of Florida does not have a law of action to separate maintenance. If certain things are required when a couple separates, such as bills being paid, there would need to be a separate agreement or suits for child support, and things like that.

In a separate maintenance agreement, if a spouse wants to award the other spouse with a house upon death, how do they go about doing this?

In most situations, the spouse that owns the house will need a will that states regardless of the separate maintenance agreement and any future divorce, they want to leave the property to their former spouse. Experts can provide legal answer to many questions regarding to the change in separate maintenance.

In the state of Michigan how can someone change separate maintenance to divorce?

What they need to do is file a complaint for divorce. A complaint for divorce can be filed in the circuit court when the allegation that there is no fixing the marriage. In the complaint the plaintiff will need to make no other explanations of the grounds for divorce then by the use of the statutory law. (Michigan Complied Laws- Section: 552.6)

In many cases children are involved in separate maintenance; a court order of legal separation will make temporary arrangements for the child care, custody, and financial support of the children. Part of the court order is a document in child custody. Some couples get a legal separation as an alternative to divorce, based on moral or religion objections to divorce. Many questions arise when dealing with a separate maintenance.

Ask a Family Lawyer

Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 9160
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
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Recent Separate Maintenance Questions

  • judge ordered me to pay ex wifes monthly health insurance.

    judge ordered me to pay ex wifes monthly health insurance. can I write it off as alimony on my taxes?
  • the judge order was separate maintenance. My wife and I have

    the judge order was separate maintenance. My wife and I have been together since. She was awarded 25,000 from my retirement worded as follows. The plaintiff has a 401k that resulted from employment during marriage. The defendant shall receive one half of the 401k in the amount of 25,000 by qualified domestic relations order to be prepared by the defendants attorney or by other transfer from plaintiff to the defendant, if allowed by plan. She has stated to myself and other that she would not take my money , now wants me to get it for her. court was on june 28, 2013. what am I responsible for. how long does separate maintenance last. what is separate maintenance.
  • It has been several weeks since I notified my husbands lawyer

    It has been several weeks since I notified my husband's lawyer that he is continuing to utilize my personal credit card to pay for his cable (set up as autopay on the website for the company), despite a protective order which states my husband and I will maintain all financial obligations and responsibilities for our respective homes for the next year. She did not respond to me until yesterday, and then told me that my husband informed her that he canceled the account and it should be canceled by now. She also sent documentation of a Complaint and Motion (filed in the wrong county) in which they cited me as the plaintiff in an at fault divorce motion for adultery (which is not true and kind of odd considering it was my husband acting in an adulterous manner, thus the catalyst for why our marriage was being strained.) Within the documentation, it stated a court date for Dec 4 and listed several outrageous claims which was used to justify their request for me to take almost all of the marital debt, pay my husband support (both permanent and pendente lite), give him most of the physical possessions I have left, and pay for his attorney's fees. She stated that she wanted me to accept the emailed documents as official service - which had an option for Separate Maintenance and Support, but specifically had boxes checked for divorce instead - and sign an agreement for a Motion to Change Venue for the Complaint and Motion to be moved to the right county. However, in the next sentence she stated that my husband and she had received most of what they wanted in the protective order and were not looking to go through further litigation and were not seeking additional temporary support for him during this time. This is confusing to me, as it seems the very purpose and language of the Complaint and Motion was to file for divorce against me with the stipulations mentioned above, which include (as I understand pendente lite) temporary support.
    I asked my husband's attorney to clarify their intention to sue me for divorce in the correct county with the same requests. I also stated that I was extremely unhappy and concerned about the amount of time that it has taken for my credit card issue to be addressed.
    The response I got today from the lawyer was very aggressive in nature and stated that they were not (with a lot of letters in ALL CAPS) seeking Temporary Relief, but that they just wanted me to accept the service and agree to the motion to change venue. She also stated several theoretical circumstances for why the account had not been closed, such as - maybe the computer didn't update it correctly, or maybe I won't be billed yet or maybe it just takes time. (Although I had called the company directly and they told me my husband has done nothing to cancel any service, but has upgraded his account as it can be seen on the website.) She made several accusations of me being unreasonable and attempting to harm her client through my accusations of him giving me false information. She said she would not give me any more information or clarity about the nature of the documentation, but said again that they wanted to move forward amicably and that I was making it difficult for them and they may change their minds since they have been kind in not pursuing contentious litigation.
    So - with all that back story, my questions are these. . .
    1) If they were truly satisfied with the stipulations of the protection order, and stated that this is why they cancelled the hearing for the Motion and Complaint against me, then why would they ask me to sign for acceptance of service for a court date and motion that has been cancelled?
    2) Is there another reason why they would not just allow the motion and hearing to be cancelled (as it already has been) in the wrong county and seek to quash the motion if they were satisfied with the stipulations of the Protection Order?
    3) If I consent to the change of venue to the right county, does this then mean that they have filed for divorce against me with the same documentation and now I have 30 days to respond with my husband as a plaintiff?
    4) She stated that they were not seeking temporary support or pursuing aggressive litigation against me - but as the language in the Complaint and Motion site extreme (and erroneous) wrongdoing on my part and ask for extravagant things, does this just transfer those requests to the new jurisdiction, which means they are seeking pendente lite and permanent rewards to my husband, therefore making her statements contradictory?
    5) Could they not just quash the former Motion and Complaint due to lack of jurisdiction and start another Motion, Complaint or other method of separation and mediation through the right county without transferring this Motion and Complaint?
    I just want to make sure I am not assuming the wrong thing, but it seems as though I'm being set up. It's very contradictory language. They say they want to be amicable, but this seems odd.
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