If you are filing for a divorce in Michigan, you may get spousal support or you may not. And if you are awarded spousal support, there is no set formula or algorithm that determines just how much that will be. Spousal support varies from one case to the next.
The purpose of spousal support
Judges award spousal support—also referred to as alimony—to ensure that both parties are properly taken care of after they divorce. Spousal support may be ordered if the division of property after the divorce is not enough to adequately support one of the parties, or it may be ordered if the divorce will leave one of the spouses worse off financially. Spousal support can be used to make up some of the disparity.
How is spousal support determined in Michigan?
A couple can discuss and agree to spousal support as part of the process of dividing property after their divorce. If the parties cannot agree, then a judge will decide whether spousal support is warranted and how much.
Some of the factors that will be used to make this determination include:
- Each spouse’s conduct and behavior during the marriage, including whether one spouse was at fault for the deterioration of the marriage
- The ability of each spouse to work, their earning potential, and career opportunities
- How much each party is receiving as part of the division of property and what type of property that is (cash assets vs. noncash assets)
- How long the couple was married; judges are more inclined to award spousal support if a couple was married a long time
- Age of each spouse and its impact on the ability of one party to provide spousal support, such as a retired spouse on a fixed income or in a gray divorce
- Each spouse’s contribution to the joint estate
Judges consider these and other factors when determining spousal support. If you think spousal support is warranted in your case, speak with an experienced divorce attorney who will review your situation and discuss the best approach to requesting spousal support.