There are some people who live in the Detroit area may be in situations where they need to leave a relationship, sometimes for the sake of emotional of physical safety.
On the other hand, they may have religious or moral reasons why they do not want to get a legal divorce which, as Michiganders know, legally ends a marriage. There may also be financial, emotional or other personal reasons to pursue an alternative to divorce.
Separate maintenance offers protection to people who need it
Michigan law offers a few options in this respect. Michigan allows for a couple to file for a separate maintenance case.
After a separate maintenance action concludes, a couple remains legally married. However, in many important respects, the case works the same way as a divorce. If the couple does not agree, the judge can make orders about child custody and parenting time, set child support and alimony and divide property and debts.
In some circumstances, a person may also ask for an annulment. If the judge grants the annulment, then the marriage will be deemed never to have legally existed in the first place.
A personal protection order may offer some assistance without a divorce
Those who are eligible for one may be able also to file for a personal protection order under laws which apply to married couples and others in domestic relationships.
A personal protection order can give a victim of domestic violence immediate legal protection. In some cases, a judge can even make it part of the order that the perpetrator not have contact with the couple’s children.
It can also serve to prevent unwanted communication, and further abuse, at the hands of the perpetrator.
However, these protection orders are not designed to make definitive rulings about custody and parenting time, nor are they designed to divide up a married couple’s property.
Whether a personal protection order is a good option for a person is a matter best discussed with an experienced attorney.