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What if I do not want to divorce, for religious or other reasons?
Michigan permits an action for separate maintenance. It is filed in the same manner and on the same grounds as for divorce. However, when the matter is concluded, a Judgment of Separate Maintenance will be entered and the parties remain technically married. When one divorces and receives a Judgment of Divorce, they receive a divorce from bed and board and from the bonds of matrimony. A Judgment of Separate Maintenance grants a divorce from bed and board but not from the bonds of matrimony. Marital property will be divided and the court may order spousal support. If either of the parties desires an absolute divorce, it will be granted accordingly. An action for separate maintenance is often mistaken for a legal separation. There is no such thing as a legal separation in Michigan.