Spousal Support

Spousal Support

Next to child custody and child support, alimony is often one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Spousal support is the money that is paid from one spouse to another for maintenance and support. Unless parties come to an agreement on their own, the court will use its discretion on whether spousal support is warranted, and if so, how much and for how long. Spousal support does not follow traditional calculations as child support does. Instead, the court will consider different factors.

Factors Used in Determining Spousal Support

Some of the factors a family court judge will consider when deciding whether or not to award spousal support include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age of the parties
  • Educational level of the parties
  • Health of both parties
  • Ability to pay support
  • Income of both parties and their ability to work
  • Needs of both spouses
  • Fault of either party in the marriage breakup
  • Parties’ present situations
  • General principles of equity
  • Prior standard of living
  • Either party’s responsibility for the support of others

Types of Alimony

Alimony is determined by looking at the circumstances of both parties and is awarded on a case-by-case basis. This is where a skilled Michigan spousal support attorney can be beneficial to help advocate on your behalf. There are three main types of spousal support awards in Michigan. These are:

  • Gross Payment: This is called alimony in gross, which is a way of property distribution that is payable through a single lump-sum award or can be paid off in periodic payments. This type of alimony cannot be modified and also not subject to factors like the death of the recipient spouse.
  • Long-term or Permanent Spousal support: This is sometimes awarded when the couple has been married for a long time, especially if one spouse is disabled or there is a major disparity in earning potential. In most cases, even permanent spousal support is terminated when the parties are retired, eligible for social security, and start drawing on retirement benefits or applicable pensions.
  • Short-Term Rehabilitative Spousal Support: This allows the recipient spouse the ability to get assistance in the job market by furthering his or her education or enhancing job skills. This will help a spouse get full-time employment and become self-sufficient. An example of when this might apply is if a couple has to sell an expensive home or has children in college. The short-term spousal award might help until the home is sold or the kids graduate college.

Retaining a Michigan Spousal Support Attorney

If you need assistance with getting spousal support or you are being pressured to pay an unfair amount, you need to retain a Michigan spousal support attorney. Let the skilled team at the Law Offices of Robbins & Licavoli, PLLC be your advocate. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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