Michael Fishman Isn’t Getting A Divorce, Wants Legal Separation Instead

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Toward the end of the week news broke revealing that Michael Fishman and his wife, Jennifer Briner, were getting a divorce after nearly two decades of being married.

According to a statement the Conners star gave to TMZ and a very candid post he made on Instagram yesterday, he and Briner are not actually getting a divorce. Instead, the duo have decided to legally separate.

“Among the reasons for not getting a regular divorce is the shared desire to keep Jenny covered by my health insurance, and allow to slowly unfold our 20 years together in a way mutually beneficial for our family, particularly on behalf of our children,” Fishman explained to TMZ.

For those who are unfamiliar with their history, Fishman and Briner got married back in October of 1999. The duo have a 19-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter together.

According to court documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight, Briner and Fishman have been separated since June 16 of last year. During the many statements Fishman has given regarding the split between he and Jennifer, he insists the duo will remain close friends.

Just yesterday, Michael shared a very raw and detailed statement with his 32,000 Instagram followers regarding his decision to pursue a legal separation instead of getting a divorce. His Instagram statement piggybacked off of the statement he originally gave to TMZ a few days earlier about wanting to keep his wife covered on his insurance and not wanting to destroy his family with a divorce.

“Nineteen years ago, as young kids, Jennifer and I entered marriage with little more than love. All marriages are complex, with tremendous growth and change over the course of a twenty-year relationship. Goals shift, life challenges us, and our twenty years together have been a resounding success. We are raising two wonderful children who continue to be the focus of our decision making, they remain our top priority,” the 37-year-old actor penned in the first paragraph of his Instagram statement.

“We completed our marriage with compassion, kindness, and respect. Opting to postpone filing until after the holidays and the completion of our son’s first semester at college,” he said, as he continued to explain the timing for the end of their relationship together.

According to the court documents filed this week, Briner requested visitation rights and joint custody of their 16-year-old daughter. She wanted the courts to determine the rights of their shared property including their two vehicles and multiple banking accounts. She also asked that her and Michael be responsible for their own legal fees during the separation.

“Through love and communication, we are transitioning our family, unraveling the complex responsibilities forged over nineteen years. Collectively we are focused on privately making the transition as seamless and undisruptive for our family,” Michael said as he concluded the statement which contained both his signature and that of his wife’s.

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Family breakfast

A post shared by Michael Fishman (@reelmfishman) on

In less than 24 hours, Michael’s Instagram followers have showered the statement with over 2,000 likes and just shy of 200 comments. Most expressed sorrow but wished the best for Michael and Jennifer as they moved forward with their lives. Some even took the time to appreciate the actor and his wife for taking such a classy and mature approach to the end of their marriage.