If you are considering a legal separation to end your relationship with your spouse, you might be wondering about the cost of legal separation in Michigan. Typically, a legal separation is not as costly as a divorce. However, every case is different.

In this post, we explain some details about the process. From what makes it different from divorce, why choose a legal separation over a divorce, its cost, and the factors that affect the final cost.

Michigan Legal Separation vs Divorce

There are three ways to terminate a marriage: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Legal separation, or separate maintenance in Michigan, does not make you single. This is what makes it different from a divorce.

When the process ends, you and your spouse will not be living together as a family or in a romantic relationship with each other. A legal separation ends your relationship with your spouse, but you and your spouse are still officially married.

There are multiple reasons why people choose a legal separation, such as finance, religious, or insurance benefits, among others.

What Is Included in a Legal Separation Agreement?

The following are some of the common issues covered by a legal separation agreement

Assets. While married, couples usually acquire assets. The agreement will lay out the asset division.

Debts. Similar to assets, the agreement will also lay out the debt division i.e. who is responsible for certain loans.

Alimony. In cases where one spouse provided most of the financial support during the marriage, they may agree to pay alimony while separated.

Child support. The court will dictate child support after the couple is separated.

Benefits and taxes. The agreement should include how benefits and taxes are sorted out.

The Cost of Legal Separation in Michigan

Next, let’s talk about the cost. How much does a legal separation cost in Michigan? The cost depends on the case. Typically, the cost of a legal separation is less expensive than the cost of a divorce. As a reference, the average cost of a divorce in Michigan is $4,000.

The average cost of legal separation in Michigan is around $930. Keep in mind that the actual cost of filing a legal separation can be as low as $50. In addition, if you and your spouse decide to not hire lawyers to represent you, you can save a lot on legal fees.

In that case, the total cost of legal separation will come down to the court fee, which costs somewhere between $50 and $300.

Even if it is an uncontested legal separation, there are fees you need to pay although it is far less than a contested one, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars or more.

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Factors that Affect the Cost

Factors that Affect the Cost

Now that you know the average cost of a legal separation, you might be wondering about the factors that affect it. There are several factors that affect the cost of legal separation in Michigan. For example,

1. Marital assets

If you and your spouse own assets together, it can be difficult to reach an agreement on the separation. Note that you can sort this out without legal representation. You and your spouse can reach an agreement regarding marital assets and present the conclusion in court.

Many couples find it difficult. As such, they use the services of a lawyer to help sort it out. Of course, hiring a lawyer to represent you will add more cost to the final cost. It can be anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars.

2. Third-party involvement

The more marital assets you and your spouse own, the more expensive the cost to divide them. The asset division may require the involvement of third parties such as accountants, appraisers, and even psychologists. Each hired third party will add to the total cost of a legal separation in Michigan.

3. Personal agreement

In the case where both parties decide to file a legal separation with both parties’ best interests in mind, they can come up with a personal agreement that they will present in court. If the couple can agree on everything, third-party involvement can be kept to a minimum, thus, lowering the final cost.

So, how much does a legal separation cost in Michigan? The average cost of legal separation in Michigan is $930. Of course, an uncontested legal separation will be less costly than a contested one. Each case is different, and so is the cost.