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Questio for the lawyers....

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Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
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8,614
What is involved in a legal separation? (It''s not me, it''s a family member...)
Is it just like a divorce, but you''re just still legally married? Does the husband always have to move out? What if the wife doesn''t work... Does she get to keep the house and he still pays for it?
(We''re in Michigan, if it makes a difference)
 

NovemberBride

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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962
Tuckins,

A legal separation is not just like a divorce, because I would consider the essential elements of a legal separation to be (1) division of property; (2) you are no longer legally married. In a legal separation there is no formal division of property, and you are still legally married. To answer your other questions, the answer is it depends. There is no rule in any state that the husband must move out or that he must pay the mortgage if the wife does not work. In some states, during a legal separation the court will award one spouse or the other monetary support, but in some states the court will not get involved until there is a divorce (legal separation different in different states, some states don''t even have separation). I would strongly advise your family member to get legal advice from a licensed family attorney in your state, particularly if there are support issues.
 

Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
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8,614
I know that the papers said something about the division of assets... Including the house. They have 2 young children ages 2 and 1... and a teenage son form another marriage. This is not going to be pretty.
 

NovemberBride

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
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962
Tuckins,

I am so sorry for what your family member is going through. As you can see from the website Storm posted, the laws vary in different states. A separate maintenance agreement is not the same thing as a legal separation. Again, I cannot recommend strongly enough that she get herself legal representation, particularly if there are children involved and she/he will be seeking alimony. The court will decide child custody/support based on the best interests of the child, but alimony is not treated the same way in most states and this is where is will benefit her (assuming it is a her) to get the best representation she can. While she may have to get a job, she also may not, depending upon the marital assets and how they are divided.
 
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