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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13872
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Does a final order of separate maintenance and support mean

Customer Question

does a final order of separate maintenance and support mean I am divorced
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you. Unless you have a final order of divorce, no, you are not not divorced. A party can be legally separated and file a separate maintenance action with the court. A separate maintenance action allows the family court to resolve all the issues that could be resolved in a divorce action except for granting a divorce. Thus, the family court can decide child custody, visitation and support for the parties’ children, equitably divide the marital property, and set or deny alimony. Issues that are resolved in a final order of separate maintenance, whether by court-approved agreement or through trial, are considered final and either cannot be modified or can only be modified upon a showing of a substantial change of circumstances. Typically, a couple will do this when they don't wish to be divorced, or they do not meet the grounds yet for divorce (for example, in South Carolina, a party may wish to file for divorce on no-fault grounds, which requires a one year separation waiting period; thus a party may want to file for maintenance first while waiting.Should you need any additional information, please use the REPLY feature, and I'll be happy to assist you. Thank you.