Alimony laws in Michigan exist to provide financial assistance to a spouse in order to preserve his or her accustomed standard of living, as it existed during the marriage. Alimony payments are balanced by the other spouse's ability to pay.
The terms “alimony” and “spousal support” both refer to the money allowance paid by one spouse to another as ordered by the court. Alimony does not apply to every divorce situation. Divorce proceedings determine whether alimony is required on a case-by-case basis. Either party may be ordered to pay spousal support.
Alimony laws in Michigan aim to bring financial balance.
Rather than view alimony as a punishment, we must view it as a remedy to support a spouse after the end of a marriage. Appropriate spousal support brings a balance between the economic statuses of both spouses, and helps ease the transition to living as a single person.
How Is Alimony Determined?
- How much will I have to pay?
- How much will I get?
- For how long?
These are questions my clients ask, because the answers affect their financial future, possibly for the rest of their lives. As a Michigan alimony lawyer, I help clients understand these answers from a planning perspective as well as from the court's point of view.
Alimony laws in Michigan and court decisions set the criteria for determining whether alimony is applicable to your case. The following factors are considered, and the judge will weigh some factors more than others in each specific case.
- The past relations and conduct of each spouse (“fault” or conduct is not a consideration in granting a divorce in Michigan, yet it may be considered in awarding or denying alimony)
- The length of the marriage
- The ability of each spouse to work
- The source of and amount of property awarded to each spouse
- The age of each spouse
- The ability of each spouse to pay alimony
- The present situation of each spouse
- The needs of each spouse
- The health of each spouse
- The prior standard of living of each spouse and whether a spouse is responsible for the support of others
- Contributions of the parties to the joint estate
- A party's fault in causing the divorce
- The effect of cohabitation on a party's financial status
- General principles of equity
Alimony Laws in Michigan and Discretion of the Court
Other factors indeed influence the amount and duration of spousal support. A judge's past decisions and leanings certainly bear on the outcome, as well as the effectiveness of your attorney's council.
It is important that you have an attorney who understands the complexities of Michigan alimony laws, and who knows the inclinations of the local trial judges. My familiarity with the family law judges in Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee and Wayne Counties helps me to better prepare your case.
Divorce and alimony proceedings under inexperienced counsel can result in financial distress. I work hard to ensure that, if alimony is appropriate in your case, it is ordered in an acceptable amount for a satisfactory period of time.
Understand how alimony laws in Michigan affect you
Have your situation analyzed by a family law attorney with years of experience and judgment in these areas. Contact me today to schedule a free, personal consultation. I will give you straight answers and reasonable expectations in accordance with Michigan alimony statutes.
Please learn more about alimony laws in Michigan and spousal support, with information about when alimony can be modified and temporary spousal support.