Spousal Support Lawyers
We Take on Cases in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
When a couple decides to get a divorce, the court might award spousal support to one of the divorced parties. Sometimes spousal support awards are based on an agreement between the couple or a decision that has been made by the court itself.
Spousal support is meant to assist the economically disadvantaged spouse maintain a similar standard of living they are used to after the marriage has ended. In general, the spouse who earns a higher income is usually ordered to pay spousal or alimony to the other spouse.
How is the Amount of Spousal Support Determined?
Child support and spousal support are not the same thing. Courts have broad discretion when it comes to determining the amount of spousal support that should be award for how long. The divorce courts in Michigan use the following factors to determine spousal support:
- The past relations and conduct of the parties
- The length of the marriage
- The abilities of the parties to work
- The source and amount of property awarded to the parties
- The parties’ ages
- The abilities of the parties to pay spousal support
- The present situation of the parties
- The needs of the parties
- The parties’ health
- The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either 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
How Long Does Spousal Support Need to be Paid?
The factors listed above help the divorce judge determine how long a spouse will receive spousal support. The courts have increasingly been awarding rehabilitative spousal support as opposed to permanent spousal support. Rehabilitative spousal support is temporary spousal support to help a financially dependent spouse make the transition to self-support. Whether not rehabilitative or permanent support will be awarded is also analyzed weighing the 14 factors.
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