Paying spousal support can be a painful reminder of a failed marriage. Spousal support can also be a financial burden that you would like to end. However, voluntarily quitting your job may not eliminate or reduce your spousal support payments. You could place yourself in a worse financial situation if you attempt to avoid paying spousal support by eliminating or reducing your income. Before taking such drastic steps, you may want to consult a Michigan alimony and spousal support lawyer to discuss legal options for reducing or eliminating spousal support payments.
Calculating Spousal Support in Michigan
There is not a formula that judges must use when calculating spousal support payments. Michigan judges use a variety of factors when deciding support cases. The 11 factors typically used to determine spousal support are:
- The health of the parties
- The age of the parties
- The health of each spouse
- The conduct of the parties and past relations between the parties
- The ability of each spouse to work
- The length of the marriage
- The ability of a spouse to pay support payments
- The property awarded to each spouse
- The standard of living during the marriage
- Each spouse's present situation
- What is equitable and fair
The parties may choose to enter an agreement regarding spousal support instead of allowing the court to calculate support payments. In addition, a premarital or post-marital agreement may set the terms of spousal support.
Modification of Spousal Support in Michigan
The court may modify spousal support unless the parties have agreed that spousal support cannot be modified under any circumstance. If you experience a substantial change in circumstances, you may file a motion to modify spousal support. However, the judge is unlikely to grant a modification of spousal support if the reason for the change in your income is voluntary.
For example, if you quit your job voluntarily or accept a job with lower pay without a valid reason, the judge may rule against you if you request a reduction in spousal support payments. Likewise, if you decide to purchase a new home or an expensive vehicle, the court will not view this as an involuntary reduction in income to justify a decrease in spousal support payments.
However, there could be circumstances in which the court might modify spousal support payments. For instance, if your business fails or you are involuntarily demoted or terminated from your job, the court might grant a reduction in spousal payments. Likewise, if you become ill or sustain an accidental injury that prevents you from working, your motion to modify might be granted.
However, if the decrease in income is temporary or you do not make a good faith effort to find another job, the court is less likely to modify the amount of your spousal support payments.
Seek The Advice of A Michigan Spousal Support Attorney
If you are experiencing trouble paying your spousal support payments or you want to reduce the amount of payments, schedule a consult with experienced Michigan spousal support lawyer, Cameron C. Goulding today to advise you of your rights and legal options. It is usually in your best interest to seek legal counsel before making any decisions that could significantly impact your future.