Can A Man Get Alimony In Michigan?
Alimony is alive and well in Michigan, however we refer to it as "spousal support" technically, although the terms are interchangeable. The award of support is determined on a case-by-case basis. The statutes states that the purpose of support is to balance the parties' incomes and needs so that neither party will be impoverished based upon the circumstances of the case.
The court is to consider the following factors when determining alimony: (1) the past relations and conduct of the parties; (2) the length of the marriage; (3) the abilities of the parties to work; (4) the source and the amount of property awarded to the parties; (5) the parties' ages; (6) the abilities of the parties to pay support; (7) the present situation of the parties; (8) the needs of the parties; (9) the parties' health; (10) the parties' prior standard of living and whether either is responsible for the support of others; (11) the contributions of the parties to the joint estate; (12) a party's fault in causing the divorce; (13) the effect of cohabitation on a party's financial status; and (14) general principles of equity.
Spousal support is intended to allow a party to assimilate into the work force and establish self-sufficiency and does not follow a strict formula. However, there are computer programs that will generate a prognosticated alimony amount and duration in a case based upon some of those factors. If an attorney presents the printout from one of these programs, the court may consider the output when crafting the award. In addition, in the area of Michigan where I practice law, many family law attorneys refer to "Judge Lombard's rule of thumb". Judge Lombard was a judge in Wayne County for many years and as a starting point for determining alimony he would look at granting the alimony for about a third (1/3) of the length of the marriage and about a third (1/3) of the difference between the parties' incomes.
All of that being said, there is absolutely no reason that a court will not award a man alimony. There are countless cases in Michigan where the court has awarded significant alimony to men where the facts merit the award. The area of family law is very complicated and a divorce typically involves the largest financial transaction an individual will experience. If you have questions about whether the court may award you or your spouse support in a divorce, please contact my assistant Cathy at (248) 608-4123 to schedule an appointment or contact us through my web site.
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