In Michigan, you can be “separated” instead of divorced. The term has a different legal meaning, though, then it does in everyday conversations.
In most ways, a separate maintenance action is the same as a divorce action. It results in a final division of property. If necessary, it includes a custody arrangement, child support, spousal support and the other typical clauses in a divorce judgment.
Usually, a party decides to get separated instead of divorced for two reasons, either (1) because of religious beliefs, or (2) because doing so allows one spouse to stay on the other’s medical insurance. If your religious beliefs or health concerns make you think an action for separate maintenance is more appropriate, make sure you let your attorney know from the beginning. Certain things will need to be done a little differently if that’s the route you choose.